Voters will be making important choices next week. In Onondaga County, two men are hoping to become the next County Court Judge. Our Iris St. Meran introduces us to the candidates who have a wealth of experience.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. – Combined, they have spent decades in the courtroom: Thomas Miller as a practicing attorney and village justice in Fayetteville and Gordon Cuffy as a prosecutor and County Attorney. Both say technology can make it more efficient.
"I guess there's always things that we can do to be more efficient particularly now in a computer age with e-filings and taking advantage of that. I think the reality is, we're already doing more with less," said Republican candidate for Onondaga County Court Judge Thomas Miller.
Democratic candidate for Onondaga County Court Judge Gordon Cuffy said, "I know there's been a move toward electronic services in the court, for e-filing, et cetera. I would certainly encourage that."
Cuffy also supports separate courts, including youth and drug court. The candidates both say one of the biggest problems facing the courts is the large amount of cases judges have to deal with.
"We have to start identifying cases that should be going to trial earlier,” Cuffy added. “We should utilize the time limitations within the criminal procedure law to make sure cases move through the system in an efficient manner."
"There's the problem with violence. There's a problem with a lack of a family structure. Those are problems that I think are inherent in the criminal justice system,” Miller sai., “There's a lack of role models and I hope as a judge I hope I can serve as a role model."
Even outside of the courtroom, their passion for their profession does not waver. If elected, they want to improve the judicial system.
Miller said, "As a judge, I will do everything I can and I've tried to hear cases fairly and impartially and to be respectful to everyone who appears before me."
Cuffy said, "I've been committed to working hard and making the community better and I hope to do that as the Onondaga County Court Judge."
Onondaga County Court Judge is a 10 year term.