Voting Guide: 2nd Judicial District Court 8

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Credit: Minnesota Supreme Court.

By: Luna Allen-Bakerian & Cirien Saadeh

There are two candidates for the 2nd Judicial District Court 8, Ngozi Akubuike and Pat Diamond.

Ngozi Akubuike

Background: Ngozi Akubuike is running for Ramsey County Court Judge. She holds an LL.B and B.L with honors from Nigeria, as well as a J.D. from Mitchell Hamline Law School and an M.P.A. from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She has experience with training, mediation, and legislative advocacy.

Legal Perspectives/Beliefs/Values: Ms. Akubuike believes in bringing “humanity to the justice system” and “taking into consideration an individual and the totality of the circumstances of the case.” She believes in “discretion, empathy, and being humane… while operating under the law.” Ms. Akubuike believes in the election of people from diverse backgrounds in order to do the necessary work to dismantle racial disparities. 

Legal History: Ms. Akubuike’s experience is in banking law and mental health issues and treatment courts. In law school, she held externships with Judge Morrow and Judge Edward Wilson. She previously served as a prosecutor and advisor who trained law enforcement officers. She helped to set up the legal department of the Chemical and Mental Health Division of a state agency, and also served as the state representative to the legal division of National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.  She served as the ADA Coordinator and Legal Manager for the State of Minnesota, working with the U.S. Department of Justice, EEOC, and Council on Disability. 

Pat Diamond

Credit to

Background: Judge Patrick Diamond was appointed by then-Governor Mark Dayton in July 2012 and elected again in 2014. He received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1986 and his BA in Secondary Education from Hamline University in 1982. Currently Judge Diamond is the lead judge in Ramsey County’s four treatment courts: Mental Health Court, Veterans Court, DWI Court, and its Substance Abuse Court.

Legal Perspectives/Beliefs/Values: Helped “establish first the Veterans Treatment Court in Minnesota.” Is concerned about the pandemic’s impacts of Minnesota’s courts and spoke briefly about the killing of George Floyd on his website: “Justice requires us to acknowledge and repair past harm while putting a stop to the violence fueled by racism and hatred.”

Legal History: Judge Patrick Diamond has been a Deputy Hennepin County Attorney for Criminal Prosecution; Special Litigation Division Manager in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office; Deputy Hennepin County Attorney for Civil Court; and an Associate in the Law Offices of Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly. Has played a role in the work of the Domestic Abuse Service Center, youth-centered restorative justice programming, expanded voting rights, reforming drug laws in order to reduce sentences, and the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.

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