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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
County

Monterey CountyCandidate for District Attorney

Photo of Jeannine Pacioni

Jeannine Pacioni

Assistant District Attorney
50,660 votes (100%)Winning
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Experience

Experience

Assistant District Attorney, Monterey County District Attorney's Office (2014–current)
Assistant District Attorney, Monterey County District Attorney — Appointed position (2014–2018)
Deputy District Attorney, Monterey County District Attorney's Office (2009–2014)
Deputy District Attorney, Monterey County District Attorney's Office (1992–2002)
Deputy District Attorney, Kern County District Attorney's Office (1990–1992)

Education

University of San Diego School of Law Juris Doctor, Law (1990)
Northern Arizona University Bachelor of Science, English (1987)

Community Activities

Board Member, Monterey County Rape Crisis Center (2016–current)
Member and Past President, Junior League of Monterey County, Inc. (1993–current)
Member and Past President, National Charity League of Monterey County, Inc. (2011–current)
Chair of Health and Social Services Committee, Monterey County Civil Grand Jury (2003–2004)

Biography

Assistant District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni has devoted her entire legal career to the pursuit of justice while handling virtually every type of criminal case prosecuted in Monterey County. For 20 years as a prosecutor, while always seeking justice and fairness, she tenaciously represented victims of crime before judges and juries in numerous high-profile cases including those involving murder, gang crimes, vehicular manslaughter, assault, robbery, child molestation, adult sexual assault, and elder abuse.

As a seasoned leader in the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, Jeannine works closely with and helps guide highly talented prosecutors in units including Sexual Assault and Child Abuse, Major Felonies, Elder Abuse, and Felony DUI. She takes great pride in mentoring the attorneys on her team and fostering their professional development. Jeannine’s commitment to the community is also demonstrated as she represents the office on the Monterey County Children’s Council, the Child Abuse Prevention Council, the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, and the Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Jeannine has received recognition throughout her professional career for her outstanding contributions to the pursuit of justice. She was presented with the “Award of Excellence” from the Monterey County Peace Officers Association for her work as a prosecutor on the murder case of People v. Jesse Crow. In 2014, Jeannine was featured in “A Passion for Justice,” a TEDx talk in which she described her successful prosecution of what had been the long unsolved 1997 murder of teenager Kristopher Olinger. Jeannine also received the Monterey County Team Service Award for her efforts in establishing the county-wide Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), a multidisciplinary team focused on preserving evidence and aiding the victims of sexual assault.

Jeannine was elected to serve on the board of directors for the California District Attorneys Association. She also served on the board of the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center. Jeannine is an active member of the Rotary Club of Salinas.

Jeannine grew up in the Phoenix, Arizona, area and received her bachelor’s degree in English in 1987 from Northern Arizona University. She graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1990 and immediately became a prosecutor because of her commitment to justly and to fairly convict the guilty while protecting the innocent. She began her legal career as a deputy district attorney in the Kern County District Attorney’s Office for two years before becoming a Monterey County Deputy District Attorney in 1992.

Jeannine stepped away from her legal career in 2002 to raise her three young children. She was selected as a member of the Monterey County Grand Jury during 2003, serving on the public safety committee and chairing the health and social services committee. Jeannine also was elected president of the Junior League of Monterey County.

Since returning to the DA’s office in 2009, Jeannine has regularly volunteered for the California Rodeo and is an avid booster at her sons’ high school. She and her daughter joined the National Charity League of Monterey Bay in 2012, and she was elected president of that non-profit in 2015.

Jeannine lives near Salinas with her two high school aged teenage sons, while her daughter attends college out of state.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am an experienced leader and proven prosecutor. During my career, I have fought for all crime victims, including those especially vulnerable—children and the elderly. However, obtaining “justice” in our criminal justice system often requires balancing the competing interests of victims and offenders. During this campaign, I look forward to discussing with community leaders how we can improve opportunities for rehabilitation and prevention without endangering public safety.

The prosecution team is the “gatekeeper” of justice. Our role is not merely to obtain convictions. The District Attorney is a servant of the law whose aim “is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer.” The District Attorney’s client is not any person, it is justice. A prosecutor’s role is to fairly evaluate all the facts and circumstances, to understand and appreciate the loss suffered by victims and their families, to decide whether to bring the accused before a court of law, or in appropriate cases whether justice requires something different. For non-serious, non-violent offenses, we must consider programs designed to intervene and prevent criminal activity, and those designed to offer hope for rehabilitation, while still providing accountability in the criminal justice system.

When it comes to violent adult criminals, I take a different approach. These offenders will be effectively deterred while incarcerated, and their punishment deters them and others from future misconduct. According to California law, the purpose of imprisonment for crime is punishment. Victims rightly expect that in the end, violent criminals must be held accountable. When a violent offender harms an innocent victim, retribution is just when the sentence fits the punishment for the crime as prescribed by law. I do not favor lenient reforms of our laws when it comes to serious and violent crime.

In my 20-year career as a prosecutor, I have successfully prosecuted major crimes such as elder abuse, child abuse, rape and child molestation, drunk driving, domestic violence, robbery, gang crimes, and murder. I have earned a reputation among prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges as committed, approachable, and a tenacious prosecutor who is fair and honest. I understand the challenge of balancing public safety with equity and fairness, so that our criminal justice system does not punish people unfairly.

I am a collaborator. In my leadership role as Assistant District Attorney, I work with other government and non-profit agencies to identify areas within the criminal justice system requiring attention, innovation, and resources. As an example, in collaboration with Monterey County Rape Crisis Center, I recently led the implementation of a human trafficking enforcement program to provide a strong public awareness campaign providing resources to human trafficking victims.

Recent changes in the law fund local programs and resources designed to rehabilitate low level offenders, understand underlying reasons for misconduct, and provide evidence-based interventions. I believe it is vital to our community that we embrace these ideals without endangering public safety. Sensible and reasoned decision-making is imperative as we examine opportunities to divert at-risk youth and young adults away from criminal behaviors. I understand that juveniles are more likely impetuous, their characters may not be formed, they are vulnerable to peer pressure and they may not appreciate the consequences of their actions. I am committed to developing collaborative relationships with government agencies and non-profit organizations to expand and create new prevention and intervention programs. I look forward to working with the community to identify ways we can collaborate on achieving these goals.

I would be honored to serve Monterey County as your elected District Attorney.

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