Doing Pete justice |

Doing Pete justice

Being a judge isn’t easy.Too stern and there’s criticism; too easy and there’s criticism. When it comes to passing out justice, everyone seems to be an expert.But Judge T. Peter Craven was the expert. He brought a number of outstanding qualities to the bench as the chief judge of the 9th Judicial District. Qualities that all judges should have.Two of Craven’s most valuable qualities were his dedication to the legal system, and his commitment to wanting to make a difference.To him, being a judge was more than just handing down justice to the convicted.The drug court will be one of his most lasting legacies at the 9th Judicial District.For any judge, decisions have more layers than a mighty oak. Craven’s justice could be harsh, and for many of the cases he heard, it had to be. Punishment and harsh sentencing had to be part of the felony cases he presided over.But he also knew that some who stood before him needed a second chance. Deserved a second chance.That’s why he was so passionate about drug court. Drug court is an alternative for non-violent drug offenders to undergo treatment and avoid the harshest punishments.Wanting to give people a second chance was why Craven launched drug court. He also presided over the court in Garfield County and extended it to Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties. It was more than compassion that led Craven to launch the ambitious endeavor. His vast understanding of the legal system gave him a keen insight into people who appeared before him.He was there to sentence the convicted but he was also there to give some another opportunity for them to straighten out their lives.As a member of this community, Craven wanted to do his part to make it better. That’s what drug court was about. He didn’t just want a better community, he stepped up and did something about it.Craven was more than just a judge. He was an active member of the Roaring Fork Valley community. He judged pies at Carbondale Mountain Fair, and could be seen at a variety of community events.Inside the courtroom, he was a judge. Outside, he was a friend, a neighbor and a family man.The Roaring Fork Valley was his home and he took advantage of all it had to offer. In the end, he died enjoying the outdoors and riding his bicycle.Craven needs to be thanked for all his contributions to the 9th Judicial District and to the Roaring Fork Valley.The truest tests of a man might be the number of lives he touches and the difference he made in his community.T. Peter Craven touched many lives, and he indeed made a difference to so many in our community.

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