Dallas District Attorney, Susan Hawk, has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals in the last year, preventing her from doing her job well, according to Attorney Deandra Grant. While once an avid supporter of Susan Hawk, Grant now believes that it is time for Hawk to take some time away from the job to take care of herself.
“This is not cancer or diabetes. This is some sort of mental illness that requires hospitalization and the job is bigger than Susan Hawk,” said Attorney Grant to WFAA Channel 8 news. Those at Hawk’s office have noted that she has not used her access card in two and a half weeks due to her voluntary admission for treatment at Menninger Clinic; however, they insist that everything will run normally in her absence.
Many are still concerned that Hawk is not at her best and that this could negatively impact many criminal cases. Attorney Grant stated that “the elected district attorney is the person who makes calls on whether or not to seek the death penalty.” Unfortunately with Hawk in and out of mental hospitals, this does not dispel a great amount of confidence in her ability to make these kinds of life and death decisions.
Additionally, many defense attorneys including Grant have reported that they have dealt with numerous instances of prosecutors withholding evidence. In one more recent high-profile case, the DA’s office agreed to an expungement because there were allegations from two esteemed attorneys that the prosecutors had withheld evidence in a child sexual assault case. An expungement of this nature is rare from the DA’s office.
While it is very difficult to remove a district attorney from office, many are in support of her stepping down until she can get the help that she requires. For the defense attorneys in Dallas, it is about making sure that someone is in office who can adequately handle the major responsibilities associated with the position.
To see the entire interview, click here.