What is justice? It is a question that I have spent the last twelve years of my career as an Assistant District Attorney answering and fighting for justice. For the past decade, I have specialized in the prosecution of people who physically and sexually abuse our most vulnerable and precious population, our children. I have seen time and again how our judicial system gives these children a voice when no one else will listen. Our judicial system, though by no means perfect, is something I believe in. It has the power to do good. It has the power to help people. It has the power to bring a sense of safety, civility and hope to our society.
I have prosecuted numerous felony trials involving some of the most horrific homicides and crimes against children our community has seen. I have spoken, worked with and listened to countless children, parents, siblings, teachers, counselors, doctors, police officers, defense attorneys and judges. Through my experiences, I see and understand how trauma, mental illness, violence, poverty, structural racism and addiction can impact a person’s behavior. As a judge, I will make balanced and fair decisions that hold people accountable, while at the same time showing compassion and empathy for each person that comes before me. This is my promise.
I wish I could say that no child in the future will ever be abused again, or no person will again lose their life to a senseless act of violence. The unfortunate reality of our society is that those things will happen in the future. And when those things happen, down our street, or in the neighboring town, I want to be the Judge that hears that case. I want to be the Judge that makes those important decisions. That does good. That helps people. That brings a sense of safety, civility and hope to our society. That gives our most vulnerable a voice. I want to be that Judge that, on every case, answers the question “what is justice?” with the utmost fairness and integrity.
My twin sister and I were born in South Korea. We were adopted at 5 months old by our wonderful and loving parents, Paul and Carolyn Vacca. I grew up in the Town of Greece and am a proud alum of University at Buffalo Law School, Colgate University, Nazareth Academy, Nazareth Hall and Mother of Sorrows. My husband Dan and I have a beautiful daughter, Genevieve.