Confusion continues over what judicial candidate Jamie Thistlethwaite did and did not say during her interview with members of the Sonoma County Democratic Party Central Committee on March 17.
Alice Chan of Sebastopol, the chairwoman of the committee that interviewed the judicial candidates, has weighed in and says her notes were wrong and have since been changed. “The draft notes leaked to the Press Democrat do not accurately and completely relect Jamie Thistlethewaite’s comments in regard to the death penalty,” she noted.
To see a full copy of Chan’s notes, click here. Here is what was recorded when Thistlethwaite was asked her position on the death penalty versus permanent incarceration:
“Anti-death-penalty. As a judge would have to apply the law, and would try to find ways to take the death penalty off the table when jury comes back. Would try not to sit on a death penalty case, but could be a ‘signing judge.’ Says LWOP is the answer. As a society we should respect life in all its forms.”
Another interviewer on the panel, one who supported Thistlethwaite, has said that record is accurate. Chris Mazzia, Thistlethwaite’s opponent, used this record as the basis for arguing whether Thistlethwaite would be able to put aside her personal feelings about the death penalty to serve as a judge.
But in an e-mail sent Wednesday afternoon, Chan said those notes are not accurate and have since been modified. How recently they were modified is unclear. Here’s what she wrote:
“As chair of the candidate interview committee, I was one of several people who took notes on each candidate’s responses. The draft notes leaked to the Press Democrat do not accurately and completely relect Jamie Thistlethewaite’s comments in regard to the death penalty; I transcribed and posted my notes from my rapid scribbling, but then consulted with others who took notes, and spoke with Thistlethwaite directly to clarify my own confusion about what I’d written down regarding her position. I subsequently modified and corrected my notes for distribution to the Central Committee during their deliberations. My original transcription, however, remained available internally, as do all the discussions in our central committee Yahoo group, although it does not correspond with my own memory of the interview.”
– Paul Gullixson