The following answers were provided by Vincent Wynne running for District Attorney in St. Tammany Parish:

1. Describe your prior court experience as a practicing attorney or government office holder, including any civil and criminal court trials, the number of jury and judge trials, and your record for settlements and plea bargains?

I have practiced law for twenty-three years.

I practiced for eight years as a prosecutor, handling misdemeanors and traffic tickets which entailed an average of three to four misdemeanor trials per day for two days every other week and four to five trials for traffic tickets per day. 

-> As prosecutors, we took ten to twenty pleas a day for DWI’s and various misdemeanors. 

-> I arraigned felonies, misdemeanors, and tickets every other week with an average of three hundred at a time.

I practiced for fifteen years as a private attorney.

-> I tried over one hundred civil cases per year as a plaintiff or defense attorney.

-> I tried well over one hundred criminal cases per year as a defense attorney.

–> As a defense attorney, it is always our goal to get the best result for the client, sometimes that doesn’t happen, and the case must be tried. 

2. Will you maintain a private law practice if elected? If so, what type of cases will you take?

Yes, over the past twenty-three years, I have an established private practice which currently includes six exceptional attorneys.  I plan to take a less active role in the law firm and allow others in the firm to advance and handle the majority of the existing and future legal work.  My firm’s cases vary and include domestic litigation, successions, contract disputes, personal injury, and medical malpractice. 

3. Please describe your management and budget experience. How many and what types of employees have you supervised?

I have managed my law firm, currently Wynne & Goux, Attorneys at Law, LLC, since beginning in private practice.  We have six attorneys and seven assistants and staff employees on our legal team.  As an Assistant District Attorney, I was the Chief of Misdemeanors and oversaw the misdemeanor, traffic and worthless checks divisions and portions of the juvenile and domestic violence divisions, with well over fifty employees under my direction and control.

4. What are your beliefs regarding recommending alternative sentences for non-violent offenders, juveniles, and people experiencing homelessness, mental illness, or drug addiction?

I believe the District Attorney’s job is to prosecute criminal charges to the fullest extent of the law, though I understand not all suspected offenders should have criminal charges filed against them or go to jail. 

St. Tammany and Washington Parishes are fortunate to have some of the best programs for people, suffering from addictions and mental health issues, as well as for veterans, dealing with difficulties re-assimilating into society after service to our country.  I am a proponent of these programs and believe  defendants will benefit from them.

The District Attorney’s office also has the option to place a defendant into its Diversion Program which requires certain criteria and obligations to educate the accused person about his/her wrongdoing.  I believe the Diversion Program should be reserved for first time offenders and for offenders in situations warranting such a program. 

5. It has been said that Justice is Blind. Today, many people do not believe that this is true and that justice is not color blind. How will you ensure fairness for all regardless of race or ethnicity?

Justice must be blind. I believe that all accused should have the opportunity to a fair and swift trial of the issues without regard to their race and ethnicity, as well as without regard to gender, religion, and class. 

One way to ensure that justice is blind is to make sure bonds for the accused are set fairly and appropriately. Another way is to reserve the use of a multiple offender Bills of Information to situations that require it.  I will ensure that programs, designed to help the community do not discriminate because someone is not able to afford a program, and I will ensure that the priority is not money but the ability to assist people with a charge.