Camas County

Jim Thomas

Serving the Citizens of Camas County Since 2020

I became an attorney after earlier careers as a Certified Respiratory Therapist and later a Petroleum Geologist in the oil fields of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Wanting to enhance my experience as a petroleum geologist, I obtained my Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Tulsa Law School, which hosted the nationally recognized Oil and Gas Law Institute.
As fate would have it, I interned for two years at the Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office where I received my first experience of being in court and arguing cases before a judge and jury. I switched tracks and upon graduation in 1990, joined the Oklahoma Indigent Death Penalty Defense Team where I worked on post-conviction and federal habeas death penalty cases. Being a member of the legal team in 1990 attempting to block the first execution of an inmate (Charles Troy Coleman) since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976 gave me unique insight into the disparities within the criminal justice system. The magnitude of watching a man die at the hands of the state impressed upon me the immense power that is inherent in the decisions a state prosecutor makes. Because of the finality of these decisions I believe that prosecutors should aspire to be what the United States Supreme Court described prosecutors as being “Ministers of Justice.”
Having lived in Blaine County for almost 25 years, I love the access to the mountans, the wild country and rivers surrounding our community and enjoy sharing that with Laira, my wife of 25 years and two wonderful daughters, ages 14 and 11. I hope to pass on my passion for my career choice to my daughters so that they may one day know the satisfaction of serving their community with enthusiasm.

Believing I could fulfill the role of prosecutor and make a positive difference in other peoples lives I joined the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 1991 and to date have been in the field of prosecution for over 25 years. I helped initiate the first diversionary Drug Court in Blaine County which has successfully served numerous individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addition keeping them out of the penal system. I serve on the Supreme Court Criminal Rules Committee and have conducted numerous training and speaking engagements regarding prosecution topics around the country.

I came to Blaine County to serve as the Chief Deputy Prosecutor in 1996. I was elected Prosecuting Attorney in November 2000 and have remained the prosecuting attorney to the present day. I enjoy the opportunity to make a difference in the safety and quality of life in our community and the daily contacts with the public, law enforcement and judiciary. Although at times it’s emotionally draining, the most rewarding part of my job is when you are able to restore to a victim of crime some measure of hope, closure or sense of justice served. The criminal justice system seldom accommodates the needs of victims as it places primary emphasis on the rights of the accused. This is the bedrock of our adversarial system and rightly so when an individual’s liberty is at stake. However, the passage of laws which I have supported giving victims more recognizable rights have succeeded in giving them more input during the judicial process.

The Blaine County Prosecuting Attorneys Office has four full-time attorneys and four staff with a budget of over $1.1 million dollars. I have been extremely fortunate to have had a collective group of dedicated and brilliant attorneys and staff throughout my tenure as prosecutor. Without their diligence and daily hard work, my office would not have enjoyed the success we have had in representing our constituency. Every day is a privilege to serve the citizens of Blaine County on behalf of the State of Idaho. From the most minor infraction to the successful prosecution in the Sarah Johnson double homicide this office has proudly maintained its professional and ethical obligations to the highest degree.

To me there is no higher degree of satisfaction in a career choice than to serve the citizens as a prosecuting attorney. Very few careers allow one to play such a significant role in the well-being and protection of the community as being a prosecuting attorney and defender of our laws.


Jim Thomas