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State of Ohio November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Evelyn L. Stratton

Candidate for
Justice; Ohio State Supreme Court; 6 Year Term Starting 1/2/09

This information is provided by the candidate


I reached the bench of the Supreme Court of Ohio by a very different route.

I was born to missionary parents in Bangkok, Thailand, and spent my childhood in Southeast Asia. I attended boarding school in South Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War and later in Malaysia, visiting America on occasion with my parents. At age 18, I returned to America alone with only a few hundred dollars in my pocket. I worked my way through school and earned a Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law.

I began my legal career as a trial lawyer in the courtrooms of Central Ohio. In 1989, I was the first woman to be elected Judge of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Presiding over major cases ranging from complex civil actions to capital murder, I established a solid record of judicial integrity, fairness, and diligence. I became known as "The Velvet Hammer" for my approach to sentencing in serious felony cases. My success on the trial bench led to an appointment in 1996 to the Supreme Court of Ohio, where I was elected to a second term in 2002.

My efforts in the community and my commitment to family have led to major changes in adoption law. As chairperson of a national committee, I led a nationwide effort to streamline the appeals process in adoption cases. I have also provided strong leadership as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Prevent Blindness Ohio.

I also believe that the courts, in partnership with the mental health system, can affect positive change in the lives of many defendants whose mental illness has led to criminal activity To that end, I formed The Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Mental Illness in the Courts, which is comprised of mental health, law enforcement, and criminal justice professionals who are dedicated to mental health initiatives in the court system.

Nationally, I am co-chair of the Judges' Leadership Initiative, a professional association that supports cooperative mental health programs in the criminal justice system. I also co-chair the Returning Home Advisory Commission, a group devoted to helping former inmates return to the community, while serving to reduce the number of repeat offenders.

On the lighter side, I am proud of my first-place finish in a college Stampede Girls Goat Tying Competition - a talent I later employed as a trial lawyer. I am married to John A. Lundberg III, and the mother of two adult sons. I enjoy painting, Thai cooking, and fly fishing with my husband.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 4, 2008 00:29
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