Andrew Mark Freiberg has formally announced his candidacy for the office of Circuit Court Judge, Part 3.
“It is after much prayer and thoughtful consideration that I have decided to seek this position and ask for the support of the residents of Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties in the upcoming Republican Primary on May 6. I humbly ask for your vote,” he said.
“I am a husband, a proud father of two children, a Christian, and a lifelong conservative,” he said.
“The position I seek is a criminal court judgeship. Lawyers, much like doctors, have a specialized focus within the practice of law. You will find that I am the only local candidate for this position with recent and extensive criminal law experience.
“My experience with our criminal justice system makes me the most qualified candidate to uphold the high responsibilities as your criminal court judge,” he said.
“My extensive experience in criminal law tells me what our system does well, but also, how we can improve. I believe that if you aren’t always looking to improve, you are falling behind. Our community faces a significant addiction problem. It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that we live in the methamphetamine capital of the United States, based upon the number of methamphetamine lab seizures and meth-related arrests and prosecutions in our area.
“In addition to methamphetamine, prescription drug abuse and drug-related thefts and burglaries are unacceptably high. Our frustration toward the mind-numbing amount of local criminal activity is largely rooted in a drug problem that is damaging our community. We are too good a people, and this is too good a place, to stand idly by. Our call to action is now,” he said.
He said he believed in accountability.
“While it may sound simplistic, we must tailor our punishment to reflect our community’s drug problem in accordance with the rule of law. I believe our criminal justice system can, and must, deter criminal activity for not only the offender, but for others who may think about committing similar crimes.
“My goal as your judge would be to make it uncomfortable enough on the offender so they learn they never want to commit crime again or, at the very least, never want to appear back in my courtroom,” he said.
He said there is a need to prioritize time and resources on the most serious crimes and repeat offenders to help make the community safer.
“Any good judge must also balance accountability with understanding. Jail alone will not solve our drug problem. We must break the cycle,” he said.
“As judge, I will put offenders to work as a condition of their probation — if probation is warranted. If they don’t have a job, the offender can perform community service.
“Community service has been under-utilized in our criminal justice system to date and is something I seek to change as judge,” he said.
In accordance with the law, offenders must also be required to complete a drug rehabilitation program to break the cycle of addiction.
“As judge, I would seek to expand our existing drug court program and seek to increase participation in local, faith-based rehabilitation programs. Offenders will learn from their mistakes or be held accountable,” Freiberg said.
“I possess an understanding of how our criminal justice system can improve, and have a vision for the future,” he said.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he served six years as a prosecutor for the 10th Judicial District. He has argued more than 50 criminal jury trials over the last decade. He has served in private practice for the last several years.
Freiberg is an active member of First Lutheran Church in Cleveland and a former criminal justice professor at Tennessee Wesleyan College.
“I believe that my wealth of criminal law experience and extensive trial practice uniquely qualifies me for this position, and I ask for your support.
He and his wife, Crystal, who is a local attorney, live in the Waterville community. He has two children — Archer and Berkley.
“I am committed to ensuring that our collective children and grandchildren have a safe community in which to grow and to call home,” he said.