Criminal Justice Reform
and Safe Streets
Primary August 9, 2022
A Fresh Approach.
A Proven Leader.
Ted Kenney for State's Attorney
We need to close the gaps and dismantle the walls that have grown between victims, the public at large, social workers, advocates for social reform, law enforcement, small business owners and the prosecutor’s office.
As a community leader, Ted knows firsthand that no progress is ever made unless people listen to each other—considering different points of view, acknowledging past mistakes, accepting the ideas of others and working hard.
Together, This is How We Achieve Results
Ted Kenney was born in Burlington and raised in Richmond.
He attended local schools and graduated from St. Michael’s College. He then moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked full-time and went to night school at The American University to earn his law degree.
Moving back to his hometown two weeks after graduating, Ted opened his own solo law practice. His practice grew into a successful small town law practice, concentrating on criminal defense and civil litigation.
In 1999, Ted moved to Williston and married Lucy Miller. Lucy practices medicine as a primary care physician for UVM Medical Center, seeing patients in Williston.
Ted became involved in civic life in his adopted hometown, and served on the Williston Planning Commission, a Justice of the Peace, the Williston School Board, and the Chittenden South Supervisory Union. He has served on the Williston Selectboard for over a decade and is the Vice-Chair.
Ted has helped lead a number of charities and professional organizations. He has been vice-chair of the Chittenden County Bar Association, the president of the Vermont Dismas House (helping former inmates re-adjust to society), and the president of the Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is currently serving on the board of the Joint Urban Ministry Project, a charity that provides services to the poor and homeless.
Ted has handled hundreds of cases and represented hundreds of people, appearing in criminal, civil and family cases in state and federal court. He has argued multiple appeals before the Vermont Supreme Court and the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City.
In 2020, Ted accepted a job as the Human Services Division Chief in the Attorney General’s Office, supervising 30 attorneys and support staff. He left the position in 2022 and is now running for Chittenden County State’s Attorney.
Most importantly Ted and Lucy are the parents of two strong, independent and energetic daughters.
& Social Justice
The racial disparities and injustices suffered by the BIPOC community are real. The hatred and fear that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people often suffer are a dangerous, unfair burden.
As vice-chair of the Williston Selectboard, Ted was the sponsor of the motion to fly the Black Lives Matter flag at the Town Hall. He supports the Williston Racial Equity Partnership.
As the father of BIPOC children, Ted knows that much more needs to be done. We need to have some uncomfortable conversations and hear inconvenient truths. We need to listen to and learn from each other.
Ted will insist on mandatory training to root out both overt and implicit bias—for police AND prosecutors. Ted will hold himself, his office, and law enforcement to standards of fairness, professionalism, compassion and—where needed— accountability. Training, minority candidate recruitment efforts and regular listening sessions with a wide swath of community leaders will be the norm.
There will be zero tolerance for racial profiling, BIPOC stereotyping, sexism or bias in any form.
Safe Streets, Neighborhoods
No one should feel unsafe walking down our public streets. Ted will request that the courts impose reasonable court-ordered conditions of release for those awaiting trial. Orders that protect public safety CAN be balanced with an accused citizen's constitutional rights.
We do not have to choose between criminal justice reform and safe streets. In fact, we cannot have one without the other.
Retail Theft - Burglary
It is no coincidence that opioid overdoses are spiking at the same time that number of retail theft and burglary are increasing.
Make no mistake - theft is NOT a “victimless crime.” Burlington has lost major employers because of the amount of retail theft. Store employees are scared that they may be physically confronted by increasing brazen shoplifters. Store owners have to make up for these losses by raising prices.
Restorative justice programs are often justified, they simply are not suitable for every single instance of retail theft and burglary. Any more than the same size shoe fits every foot. And they will never work if there is no consequence for refusing to engage in the process. And repeat offenders should face the criminal justice system.
Crimes Against Women
The longer a prosecution involving physical or sexual violence against women is delayed, the more damage is done. A traumatized victim does not benefit from hanging in limbo, wondering when the case will finish. Ted will speed up the pace of these cases will benefit everyone—even the accused.
Too many defendants try to intimidate their victim or convince the victim not to testify. Ted will work with law enforcement to make sure court-ordered conditions of release and Abuse Prevention Orders
are being obeyed.
Last year’s number of drug overdose deaths eclipsed the number from the year before that.
Ted has represented scores of people accused of crime who are suffering from opiate use disorder. More than once, he has received the call that informs that his client died from a drug overdose. He has had to comfort parents he represented whose daughters and sons have died.
We need to treat those struggling with addiction with compassion, patience and respect. Ted favors the use of drug treatment court, restorative justice, and rehabilitation. Ted knows that part of recovery is compassionately holding those who struggle accountable—with compassion and encouragement—for their actions.
But we need to use the criminal justice system to take as much of these deadly poisons off the street as possible. People who sell drugs for profit must be held accountable by the community. Low level and first-time offenders can be given deferred sentences (that can be expunged entirely), probation, community service and counseling or treatment.
Major drug dealers—absent unusual circumstances— should received reasonable periods of incarceration.
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Our Community More Equitable and Safer.
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when you take action.
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