Pubdate: Mon, 14 Oct 2002
Source: Daily Mountain Eagle (Jasper, AL)
Copyright: 2002 Daily Mountain Eagle
Author: Brian Kennedy


Wilson Myers, a Libertarian candidate for Attorney General, never actually 
planned to run a statewide campaign for the state's top prosecutor position 
on a shoe-string budget. That was until the events of the past summer.

"I had agreed to be a paper candidate, where my name would be listed on the 
ballot as the Libertarian nominee for Attorney General," said Myers, a 
defense attorney in south Alabama. "I changed my mind when it was announced 
that the state justice system would be shutdown due to lack of funds, and 
at the same time the Attorney General was appearing before the U.S. Supreme 
Court arguing that it was OK to keep an inmate tied to a hitching post for 
several hours a day."

Since that time, Myers has attempted to launch a campaign with little to no 
funds and has spent as much time as possible away from his defense practice 
to address issues he feels are important to the state's future.

Myers admits that the battle has been one of the uphill nature, and he 
actually does not give himself much of a chance to win.

"I would say my chances are slim to none. I haven't received any PAC money 
and I haven't been strong-arming my friends to contribute to the campaign, 
because I want them to be friends long after the campaign is over," Myers 
said. "I'm basically trying to continue to make a living, travel around the 
state and overcome the obstacles."

Outside the financial obstacle, Myers said he must also battle the 
unfamiliarity of the Libertarian Party. Myers said he was a member of the 
Republican Party until 1995, when he chose to join the Libertarians.

His primary goal of the campaign is to bring forth issues he believes are a 
concern to all residents of the state.

Chief among those issues is prison reform and Myers believes the issue 
should be addressed in ways other than increasing taxes and building more 

"Our prisons have basically become human warehouses, and building more 
warehouses is not the answer," Myers said. "Violent criminals belong in 
prison, but we have too many non-violent and victimless crime inmates in 
our prison system who could be put to work under proper guidance and repay 
their debt to society.

"Most of these non-violent inmates don't need prison; they need treatment 
and rehabilitation," he added. "We need to break the cycle and set up a 
statewide drug court, get treatment for those who need it and put them to 
work instead of in prison."

Myers indicated that he also opposed the death penalty, and if elected he 
would uphold the state law while trying to bring change to the system.

"As attorney general, you are sworn to uphold the law and as long as it is 
on the books I would enforce it, but I am opposed to the death penalty 
because I believe we have outgrown it. It is entirely too expensive and it 
doesn't serve as a deterrent," Myers said. "I would declare an immediate 
two-year moratorium on the death penalty to give legislators an opportunity 
to research alternative options."

Myers supports enhancements in the juvenile justice system, believing that 
crime can best be stopped through strong K-12 programs.

In other areas, Myers indicated that he supported a citizens' rewrite of 
the state constitution, because "the one we have now is ridiculous;" a 
decrease of 25 percent in the attorney general's office staff; as well as 
an enhanced effort toward investigating corruption in state government.
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