Elect Judge David S. Milton For District Attorney, Los Angeles County

What Justice Means To Me
And How I Plan To Seek It As Los Angeles County District Attorney

Although born in Pasadena, I was raised in a Judeo-Christian family in Indiana. I characterize myself as African Indian American. My parents moved to Indiana when I was an infant. We were required to attend church services 3-4 times per week. I must admit, I did not always want to go, but I mostly complied. The overwhelming benefit and value from that upbringing instilled a strong sense of fairness, honesty, integrity, right & wrong. While I still believe in the Christian way, I am by far not perfect. As humans we make mistakes along the way, but what is important is that we recognize those mistakes, try not to repeat them, and ask for forgiveness.
Our family also was very patriotic. Dad and brother were Marines. Brother suffered severe injury in Viet Nam. With our prayers, he recovered. Brothers in the Navy and Army. Instead of following my dad and brother in the Marine Corps, I enlisted into the U.S. Army Reserve for six years after we received word of my older brother’s injuries
Having grown up in Indiana in the 60’s and 70’s, I witnessed and suffered many of the indignities that resulted from the racially tense environment at that time. I believe this experience made me stronger, built character, stamina, resolve, and this is why I believe it is difficult for me to tolerate injustice from any side. I can truly say that when it comes to my perspective on human behavior, I am completely colorblind.
On to the subject of this op-ed, I served as a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior and Municipal Courts for 24 years, a prosecutor for 12 years, and now I am working as a private judge. This means that parties in civil disputes retain me for resolution of their matters through arbitration or mediation. The cost is divided equally between the parties. No party should have an advantage due to the prominence of an attorney, or any other extraneous matter.
During my tenure as a sitting judge, even though parties had a right to a trial by jury, they often waived that right and agreed that I could decide the case, meaning that would determine the facts and the applicable law. Without the waiver, a jury would determine the facts. I was always flattered by the parties willingness to allow me to decide the entire case. They were confident in my sense of fairness. In that regard, and even now as a private judge, I would never treat any party unfairly. I always attempt to put myself in the shoes of the parties. I have a reputation of strict adherence to the law. My personal beliefs are largely irrelevant. I follow the law. Citizens should be able to rely on a system that rigorously adheres to the “Rule of Law.”
Earlier, I mentioned the indignities suffered during my earlier years in Indiana. This experience impacts me today. Number one on my platform, miltonforda.com, is entitled “Hate Crimes.” What this means is that the crime was motivated by a perpetrator’s hatred of another due to the victim’s ethnicity, religion, or gender. This is one of several polices of the present district attorney that I will reverse by directive on day one of my administration. Our society cannot be a wholesome one without dispensation of justice. One question I would like to propound is: Should justice sometimes be tempered with mercy or does mercy fall within the calculus of justice?