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Los Angeles County, CA June 3, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Kathleen Blanchard

Candidate for
Judge, Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 123

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This information is provided by the candidate

Kathleen Blanchard has dedicated her life to the pursuit of justice for the People of the State of California, and to making Los Angeles a safer place to live.

She has spent her entire legal career as a criminal prosecutor. Ms. Blanchard started out as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice, where she served for almost four years. Ms. Blanchard went on to become a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney more than ten years ago.

Ms. Blanchard has spent the past 4 years assigned to the Hardcore Gang Division, where she prosecutes violent criminal street gang members who commit murders and attempted murders. She has handled hundreds of felony cases. Shehas conducted 70 jury trials, including 20 murder trials. With a 97% conviction rate at trial, Ms. Blanchard's courtroom accomplishments are staggering, especially in light of the scarce amount of evidence and the lack of cooperation by witnesses that are typical in most gang-related cases. Because of Ms. Blanchard's tireless efforts, dozens of Los Angeles' most violent gang members are currently serving life sentences in prison.

Ms. Blanchard's breadth of experience in the field of criminal law is unmatched. As a Deputy District Attorney, she has prosecuted felonies and misdemeanors, in both adult and juvenile court. As a Deputy Attorney General, she fought against efforts to overturn felony convictions in both state and federal courts. She has appeared in Superior Court Departments all over the county. Ms. Blanchard also has argued cases before various Divisions of the California Court of Appeal. She has handled capital cases at the pre-trial stage and in post-conviction proceedings. On two occasions, she has conducted rare "dual-jury" trials, wherein the case is presented to two separate juries at the same time. Her extensive professional experience in the field of criminal law will provide her the basis for an exceptionally smooth transition to the bench.

Ms. Blanchard possesses all of the qualities necessary to serve as an exemplary judicial officer. She is experienced, knowledgeable, ethical, fair, and compassionate. To her, the pursuit of justice requires striving to do the right thing, every time. Her experience as a homicide prosecutor has given her an insight into the plight of victims, their families, and witnesses, who oftentimes feel powerless in the system. In her pursuit of justice, Ms. Blanchard works to ensure that the victims' voices are indeed heard, that the victims of violent crimes are never forgotten. Ms. Blanchard believes that, in every case, not only must the Constitutional rights of the accused be scrupulously honored, but the Victim's Bill of Rights, which is contained in our California Constitution, must be adhered to as well.

Ms. Blanchard has been honored by her colleagues for her professional excellence. She received an award for Deputy District Attorney of the Month in March of 2006, and was nominated for Prosecutor of the Year in 2006. Ms. Blanchard also has shared her expertise with other Deputy District Attorneysin panel discussion groups for the Training Division of the D.A.'s Office.

Ms. Blanchard graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University, and from the UCLA School of Law. She is happily married to a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 25, 2008 03:38
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