To the editor:
In 1940, Attorney General Robert Jackson (later justice of the U.S. Supreme Court) said, “The qualities of a good prosecutor are as elusive and as impossible to define as those which mark a gentleman. And those who need to be told would not understand it anyway. A sensitiveness to fair play and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.”
As the elected District Attorney of Sedgwick County, I know full well that professional prosecutors must understand the enormous power placed in our hands by citizens. Communities deserve a professional as interested in protecting the rights of the innocent as we are in holding the guilty accountable.
Twenty-six years ago, I met such a prosecutor — and mentor — when I interned in the office of the Geary County Attoney, Chris Biggs. Later, after graduating from law school, I went to work for Chris as an Assistant Geary County Attorney.
I sat at counsel table with him in the fall of 1996 when we tried Dana Flynn and Mikel Drieling, the people responsible for the murder of Randy Sheridan, the largest case by volume in the history of the state of Kansas at that time.
Named the Kansas Prosecutor of the Year in 1998, few lawyers in Kansas can rival the list of successful, high-profile cases found in Chris’s resume: Sabine Davidson for the Rottweiler death of Christopher Wilson; the 50-count burglary and murder case against Stanton Holt, who killed two seniors, James Ashley and Mabel Price; Jason Turner, who murdered Catherine Heintze at Pate’s convenience store; the murders of Trudy Moore and her son, Oscar Moore Jr. at Pizza Hut; the investment fraud case of Thomas Etheredge for the Wild West theme park in Wichita, when Chris served as the Kansas Securities Commissioner from 2003 to 2010; a 9-defendant murder case while serving as a Senior Assistant District Attorney in Shawnee County in 2012; and more recently, the conviction of Christopher Lyman in Geary County for the death of an infant.
The list goes on and on.
Our country is at a crossroads in community and law enforcement relations.
Now more than ever, the criminal justice system needs people of integrity and skill honed by experience. It is important for a prosecutor to work with, not for, law enforcement in order to objectively perform the required duties. Chris has sent plenty of people to prison for victimizing the community and has done so with professional aplomb and respect for the law.
These are skills Chris continues to pass onto the next generation of attorneys as a mentor in trial advocacy.
Simply put, Chris Biggs is one of the most qualified and respected prosecutors in this state. He will serve Geary County, and justice, well.