Damion McCullers | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Damion McCullers

N.C. District Court


Full Legal Name: Damion McCullers

Name as it appears on the Ballot: Damion McCullers

Seat/ District: Wake County District Court Judge (10th Judicial District)

Partisan Affiliation: Democrat (non-partisan race)

Date of Birth: 2/7/1978

Home Address: 2925 Haven Rd. Raleigh, NC

Mailing Address (if different from home): P.O.Box 58035 Raleigh, NC 27658

Campaign Web Site: www.McCullersforjudge.com

Occupation & Employer: Attorney, McCullers & Whitaker, PLLC

Bachelor's Degree Year & Institution: 2000, North Carolina Central University

JD Year & School: 2003, Campbell University, Norman A. Wiggins School of Law

Other Degrees:

Years lived in North Carolina: 32

Home Phone: 919-625-3483

Work Phone: 919-772-1951

Email: dlm@mandwlawyers.com

1. What do you believe are the most important issues facing the District Court? What are your top priorities or issues of concern for the coming term?

The most important issues facing our District Courts are the rise in gang related crime specifically as it relates to juveniles and the increase in drug related offenses as a whole. As District Court Judge my top priorities and issues of concern will be not only ensuring justice for all but also protecting the citizens of Wake County, and making sure the underlying core issues and causes of these offenses are addressed.

2. What qualifies you to serve?

I have a unique balance of experience and perspective. I have prosecuted thousands of cases during my time with the Wake County District Attorneys Office (3rd Year Practice Rule). I also have had the opportunity to work as a general practitioner in Wake County and represent citizens in criminal, civil, and domestic areas of law. I am a lifelong Wake County resident and understand the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth in our District Court Judiciary.

3. How do you define yourself politically? How does that impact your judicial approach?

I define myself politically as a fair, progressive thinking person. This impacts my judicial approach in that I will be able to approach each matter that comes before the court fairly and without any personal bias, relying simply on the rule of law. Further, with a progressive thinking approach I will be able to think ahead and formulate solutions to potential challenges that may arise.

4. FOR INCUMBENTS: What have been your most important decisions in your current capacity? FOR CHALLENGERS: What decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with?

There is no incumbent in this race.

5. What do you feel was the U.S. Supreme Court's most important recent decision? Did you agree with the majority?

I feel Arizona v. Gant is the most important recent decision by the United States Supreme Court. I did agree with the majority. The court outlined a specific rule and relieved ambiguity as it relates to the issue in the Gant case.

6. Do you feel that North Carolina's current system of judicial elections serves the state well? Are there other forms of selecting judges you feel would function better or worse than the current one?

I do feel our current system of judicial elections serves North Carolina well. There are other forms of selection that could be applied (i.e. nomination by the bar). However, I am in favor of giving the citizens the opportunity to select and elect their judicial leadership.

7. Have you ever pled guilty or no contest to any criminal charge other than a minor traffic offense? Please explain.


8. Is there anything else you'd like to add about yourself or the issues that are important to you?

I believe every citizen deserves to be treated with respect and have his or her case move forward with the rule of law leading the way. I am committed to being a fair, competent and consistent District Court Judge.

9. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

I would take the principled stand of holding the state to its burden in the criminal law context. While the popular sentiment may be to convict a person based on the nature of the alleged crime, our system of justice requires that the prosecution fully satisfy and entirely convince the fact finder beyond a reasonable doubt. If that burden has not been met I will have to do as the law requires and enter a finding consistent with the evidence presented.

10. On the District Court level, what improvements can be made in terms of the juvenile justice system? What are the weaknesses or constraints in the court's handling of juvenile offenders?

More prevention is an improvement that can be made in terms of the juvenile justice system. While punishment is one component of the system, I am in favor of offering proactive positive alternatives instead of being reactive. Offering these tools to young people on the front end will serve us well on the District Court level.

The major weakness/ constraint I see most often is lack of parental involvement. The juvenile justice system would flourish even further if more parents would become an active partner with the court counselor's and staff in getting those young people who have come in the system back on track.

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