GTMO to Isle of Wight

Published 8:22 pm Friday, September 25, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

Several years ago, while serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy — a political appointee responsible for, among other things, the Guantanamo prison camp — I had the opportunity to seek advice from the nation’s top lawyers. I selected one to fly down to Guantanamo to give an unvarnished opinion; it was Jennifer Stanton. Hers is the opinion that I valued most, which should come as no surprise; Ms. Stanton is at the top of any list when grappling with issues related to criminal culpability. I have known Jennifer Stanton throughout her career, and I can give no higher endorsement for Commonwealth’s Attorney that the one I now extend to her.

In my three decades in Government, I have had numerous opportunities to serve with some of the most accomplished attorneys our nation has to offer. As a Marine judge advocate, I was able to serve at every level of command from platoon to National Security Council in the White House. I served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, and I personally supervised hundreds of lawyers, including as chief prosecutor, chief defense counsel, military judge, and chief Pentagon negotiator for the International Criminal Court. Throughout all these experiences and interactions with the best and brightest of our legal profession, I can think of no prospective Commonwealth’s Attorney whom I would rank higher than Ms. Stanton.

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Jennifer Stanton’s talent, experience and dedication as a criminal litigator is unsurpassed. She is as tough as nails, yet her relentless focus is balanced by a compassion that ensures punishment will always be meted out with a recognition of the impact our criminal justice system has on the lives of both victim and alleged perpetrator.

With her impressive skill set, Ms. Stanton would be a noted attorney-leader in any city in the United States. But she chose to pursue her career in Isle of Wight. Her ambition is not for material success or fame; hers is a passion for justice and making right what is wrong. With unflinching integrity and a matchless work ethic, it is easy to see why I give Jennifer Stanton my highest recommendation for election as Commonwealth’s Attorney.

William K. Lietzau
Colonel, USMC (ret.)
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense