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Portrait of Fallon Marie Radigan
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Fallon Marie Radigan

Candidate insights
  • Led the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office.
  • Says the criminal justice system should be colorblind to outside bias.
Sitting Judge?
Bay Village
Admitted to practice law in Ohio
Previous jobs

You asked. They answered.

Fallon Marie Radigan's responses to questions from the community.

As a judge, one tool you have is discretion. In one or two sentences, how will you use it?

Discretion allows you to evaluate each case separately based on the facts of the case and the individual. The sentencing guidelines are a tool judges can reference, but ultimately the judge decides a sentence in a way they feel is appropriate.

How would you keep your own biases and personal beliefs in check when deciding cases involving people of different races, economic or social backgrounds, identities or life experiences?

A criminal justice system should be color blind to outside bias. Each person and case should be treated individually – not what someone looks like or where they come from. I think continuing community outreach and education is a key component as well.

In recent years, Cuyahoga has made reforms to its bail system and reduced reliance on cash bail. Have they gone too far or not far enough? Why?

With regards to the bail system, the courts seem to have utilized personal bonds on lower-level felonies in order to keep the individuals that commit these crimes out of jail during the pendency of their case. I think utilizing the bond commission recommendations helps with the bail system. I think it is trending in the right direction.

Should judges be elected? Why or why not? If not, how do you think judges should be chosen?

Currently, I think electing judges works but it needs improvements. I think we can do a better job at their qualifications. We need to elect judges that not only have the qualifications but understand how the court they are seeking works. If you are not in that building day in and day out, you do not know the issues that arise and what needs to be fixed. We need to focus more on individuals that want to be judges to help make changes, not just to wear a robe.

Cuyahoga County has programs to give people a chance to avoid conviction and jail for certain crimes. How well do you think these programs work? Would you like to see any other kinds of programs?

I think the programs like diversion and drug treatment programs are working well. I would like to try to establish a human trafficking docket for adult court, like juvenile court has in Safe Harbor. Judge Synenberg has tried to establish one, but more grant money would be needed, and outside partner agencies would need to be brought in. I believe there are funds for this, and it is necessary in our community.

How would you grapple with handing down a decision that would upset a victim or their family, or a defendant or their family?

As a judge, you are in the position to make the difficult decisions when it comes to sentences. No one case is the same. After following the sentencing guidelines and evaluating those guidelines to the case, I would explain my position and reasons why I gave a certain sentence. You have to make the tough decisions even if it is not popular. In my current position, if I don't have probable cause on a case, we cannot charge it and this has to be explained to victims or police officers. This is also true when I explain my position when it comes to sentencing.