Letter to the Editor: Endorsement of George Smyrnos for Superior Court | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Endorsement of George Smyrnos for Superior Court

I spent nearly six years in the Criminal Division of the California Attorney Generaland#8217;s Office before opening my private practice in criminal defense law in 1981. For the last 30 years I have practiced criminal law. I have been a state bar certified specialist in criminal law since 1985.

I have handled thousands of cases and have dealt with hundreds of prosecutors and judges. I have conducted more than 100 jury trials and have handled hundreds of appeals.

I have appeared once before the United States Supreme Court, twice before the California Supreme Court and many times before state and federal appellate courts.

My views on criminal justice issues are generally quite different from the views of prosecuting attorneys. Nevertheless, I am happy to extend my endorsement to career prosecutor George Smyrnos in his quest to obtain a seat on the Nevada County Superior Court.

I have known George professionally for over ten years. I have handled many cases against him in his capacity as prosecutor in the Sacramento County District Attorneyand#8217;s Major Narcotics unit. Rarely, if ever, have George and I seen eye to eye on all aspects of a case.

I can generally count on him to take a more punishment-oriented approach to drug-related criminal conduct than I.

Still, in my extensive experience with George, he has never displayed the slightest inclination toward dishonesty, unfairness or incivility.

To the contrary, he is a true gentleman to deal with. He has earned the trust and the respect of the Sacramento criminal defense bar while remaining firm in his prosecutorial views.

Perhaps more importantly, even as he aggressively prosecutes, he does not ignore a defendantand#8217;s basic humanity or his rights under the law.

I have no doubt that George Smyrnos would bring honor, decency and a no-nonsense approach to the Superior Court.

He has my unqualified endorsement.

John R. Duree, Jr.

Attorney, Sacramento

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