2024 Voter Education Questionnaire
Maricopa County Attorney Candidates

Currently:

  • Police can arrest, detain, and interrogate children without notifying the child’s parent or legal guardian.
  • The testimony of police with known integrity issues such as dishonesty and criminal activity is permitted in a court of law in Maricopa County.
  • The Black community is still experiencing disproportionate harm from New Jim Crow laws and system inequities built into the criminal-legal system.
  • Accessing some reproductive health services has been criminalized.

Who we elect this November to lead the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has never been more important. On March 11, 2024, we sent the Maricopa County Attorney candidates for 2024 a questionnaire about these topics. Below are the responses from the candidates.


Photo of Tamika Wooten
Tamika Wooten

Prosecuting Children

The law recognizes that minors “lack the capacity to make a legal contract” (NOLO); yet, police can ask children to waive their right to an attorney before their parents even know their child was arrested (Arizona Attorney General).
  • Will you commit to not using testimony provided by children who waived their rights without their parents’ consent?
Tamika WootenYes, especially the testimony of children 16 or under who were questioned without their parents being present. If an interview was conducted without a parent, that interview will not be used and the child will have another opportunity to be questioned with their parent present.

Cops with Known Integrity Issues

“Brady Lists” are “used by prosecutors to track officers with a history of dishonesty, criminal activity, and other integrity concerns” (ABC15). In May 2022, ABC15 shared a database containing more than 1,170 law enforcement officials in Maricopa County who are now on "Brady Lists."
  • Will your office set up a Conviction Integrity Unit to investigate questionable cases, possible wrongful convictions, excessive sentences, and rectify questionable prosecutorial decisions?
Tamika WootenYes.
  • Will your office commit to not using testimony or evidence involving officers on the Brady List?
Tamika WootenAnytime an officer is placed on the Brady List, his/her name will be disclosed. Likewise if an officer on a case is on the Brady List, that information will be disclosed. Defense counsel can review the Body Worn Camera, police reports, etc to determine if they believe the officer's actions in that particular case, raise an integrity issue and file the appropriate motion.

New Jim Crow

Black and Brown communities have experienced disproportionate harm from New Jim Crow laws, and county attorneys played a crucial role in executing those injustices.
  • In your personal and professional life, what have you done to alleviate these injustices?
Tamika WootenAs a former prosecutor, I have dismissed cases that I encountered where the accused rights were violated.
  • As county attorney, how would you address these systemic issues?
Tamika WootenAs County Attorney, if there is an allegation that a citizen's rights were violated, I will review the allegation to determine if a suppressible issue occurred and if so, that evidence will be suppressed and the case possibly dismissed, depending on the substantive affect of the violation.

Women’s Reproductive Health

  • Will your office prosecute abortion providers or patients seeking abortions?
Tamika WootenNo.

Symbiotic Relationship with Law Enforcement

Prosecutors are dependent upon law enforcement to provide evidence and testimony necessary to win their cases. County attorneys are also responsible for prosecuting those same police officers of criminal misconduct.
  • How will your office handle this conflict of interest?
Tamika WootenIf an officer has engaged in misconduct, he/she will be investigated and prosecuted. No officer, citizen or elected official is above the law.

 

As of May 17, 2024, candidates Gina Godbehere and Rachel Mitchell have not responded to our questionnaire. We will update this page after we receive their responses.