Arizona’s Controversial Crime-Stopping “Sheriff Joe” Reelected for Sixth Term

Posted on Nov 07, 2012

The presidential election at the beginning of the month attracted a lot of media attention, and was the culmination of over a year of aggressive campaigning by both candidates. In Arizona, however, the Maricopa County sheriff election was a landslide victory for the incumbent Republican, Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio, arguably the most well-known sheriff in the country, won a sixth term on November 6th. His Democratic opponent Paul Penzone campaigned hard, but “Sheriff Joe” won easily, even predicting a seventh term in 2016.

Known for his firm stance on immigration and Maricopa County DUIs, the 80 year old incumbent has faced much controversy over the course of his career. Most recently, his office has been accused of ignoring the lower-profile investigations, and instead focusing on Arizona crimes that bring the highest amount of public attention.

Phoenix sex crime cases often took a back seat to immigration issues, and over 400 have been reopened after it was found that they received insufficient investigation. In several of the cases, the victims had moved away, rendering the cases that they were involved in unable to be investigated further.

Sheriff Arpaio’s primary selling point is also his most widely argued across the nation—his enforcement of immigration. While this likely won the election for him among Arizonans, it has also attracted a large share of criticism, including lawsuits accusing him of racially profiling during his immigration patrols.

Arpaio’s reelection affects us all as Phoenix residents. The Arizona criminal defense lawyers at Curry, Pearson &Wooten are committed to protecting the rights of those who have been accused of, or are the victims of, a crime in Arizona.

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