Herald-Whig View

Voters should keep Shepherd on judicial bench

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018 9:45 am Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 11:20 am

Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd is up for retention as judge in Missouri's 10th Judicial Circuit and is highly recommended to voters.

Shepherd was sworn in shortly after Judge Robert Clayton II retired Dec. 24, 2010. She stood for election in 2012 and has consistently shown her knowledge of the law and managed her courtroom well.

Shepherd earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law, where she was a member of the Missouri Law Review. She also clerked for Judge James Reinhard of the Missouri Court of Appeals.

In addition, Shepherd served in the Missouri House for eight years, sponsoring several bills that improved on procedures within the state's legal system.

During her time on the bench, Shepherd has become the presiding judge, overseeing efforts to help people who end up in the court system to establish better lives.

The 10th Circuit Treatment Court provides GED classes for all probationers at the local office for probation and parole two nights per week. The circuit also partners with faith-based organizations, mental health treatment providers, substance use treatment providers, community service providers, Parents as Teachers and employers to help those in the court system meet their probation conditions, including employment, sobriety and payment of restitution.

Attorneys within the 10th Circuit also have benefited from several continuing legal education courses on topics such as guardian ad litem training for lawyers representing abused and neglected children, ethics, professionalism, rule changes and municipal court standards.

Under the state's court system, judges must periodically stand for retention.

Missouri voters have made it clear that they want judges with many attributes. Jurists need the intellect and legal temperament to manage courts well. They must have compassion for victims of crimes and have the heart to help those convicted of crimes become productive citizens.

Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd has all of those qualities and should be retained by voters.