Live chat with State's attorney candidate Gordon Lynn - transcript

August 15, 2006

State's attorney candidate Gordon Lynn, will be our Live Chat guest today starting at 1:00 pm and ending at 2:00 pm. Questions or comments can be submitted by clicking here before and during the chat. Or send an email to:

Ruth: Should you be elected, what are your plans to improve on the State's Attorney's Office as a whole?

Gordon Lynn: I think that one of the main goals that I will have as the state's attorney is to open the lines of communication with various agencies such as the police department, parole and probation, the correctional officers, the public defenders office, the bar association. These are essential to the effective operation of the state's attorney office. At present, there seems to be a lack of communication, especially between the public defender's office and the state's attorneys office, as well as the local police agencies and the state's attorneys office. Hopefully, by opening those lines of communication the system will work more efficiently and effectively to the benefit of the citizens of Washington County.


Blake: You, as well as your fellow Republican challenger, Gregory Bannon, have made statements appearing to criticize Mr. Strong for not seeking the death penalty in murder cases. During the past 2 years, what murder(s) have occurred in Washington County that had you been State's Attorney you would have sought the death penalty and why?

During the last 12 to 16 years, the approximate time you have been an attorney in Hagerstown, what murder(s) have occurred that, again, had you been State's Attorney would you have sought the death penalty and why?

Gordon Lynn: First of all, I have never criticized Mr. Strong regarding his use of the death penalty, or Judge Long when he was the states attorney. I'm not quite sure where your information came from. Mr. Bannon was the only one who criticized Mr. Strong's position. In answer to the second part of your question, I believe that the state's attorneys office should have taken a very close look at Steven Barr's case. Mr. Barr laid in wait for the victims in their own home before he murdered one of the victims. This is a case that surely should have had a close look with a view toward the death penalty.

Connie: Being a Defense Attorney for many years, how do you plan on prosecuting the same people that you have defended?

Gordon Lynn: I would not be able to ethically prosecute someone that I have represented in the past. I have discussed with several of the candidates for state's attorney from Frederick County this same issue and we have agreed that, should this issue arise, special counsel would be assigned from the different counties to handle that situation.

Jason: I understand that Mr. Lynn sees public servants like the police as his #1 priority and I understand his emphasis on prioritizing the work these people do. But shouldn't the public itself be the top priority? Everything I've seen/heard seems to be him giving back his support to the Police, etc... because they lent him their nomination.

Please ask him to comment on what his position owes to the general public of Washington County.

Gordon Lynn: The citizens of Washington County are most definitely the number one priority. The law enforcement personnel and other public servants help to achieve the goal to serve the citizens of Washington County effectively and efficiently. The police are just one of many that the states attorney must rely on to do his job. A state's attorney must have a good working relationship with law enforcement, correctional officers, parole and probation officers, and other public servants. I am aware that the citizens of Washington County are the number 1 priority and I believe that that is true with regard to the other public servants mentioned above.

Allison: You have identified yourself as a "Special Assistant United States' Attorney" while stationed at Ft. Richie many years ago. Isn't it true that your prosecution experience there was limited to traffic violations and minor infractions committed on the Fort's grounds and did not include any jury trials or prosecution of serious felonies?

Could you please tell me how many rapes and murders you were the lead prosecutor on when you were a JAG at Fort Hood, Texas?

Gordon Lynn: It is true that part of the job of a special assistant US attorney was to prosecute cases in magistrate's court. While most of those violations are related to misdemeanors that occur on the grounds of Ft. Ritchie by civilians, my tenure as a special assistant US attorney did not include jury trials or serious felonies. With regard to "rapes and murders", as a JAG at Fort Hood, Texas, I was involved in several murder cases and other serious felonies as lead counsel.

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