Just recently for three weeks Mandan, North Dakota made National news - the Chad Isaak murder trial was covered on Court TV. You couldn't go anywhere in the Bismarck/Mandan area without hearing someone talking about the case. I was one of those that were intrigued by every passing day, and the key figure in my mind was a man by the name of Judge David Reich.

So much poise and dignity

To those that have come to know David Reich, it came to no surprise watching his poise and dignity in the courtroom. This is a man who started a running group back in 2014 called RADD ((Runners Against Destructive Decisions) - his goal was simple - to provide a healthy alternative to the deadly world of addiction. On the phone with him this morning, I was blown away by everything he and his group have accomplished.

A troubled individual takes up running, regains his soul, and owes his life to Judge Reich

This was just one of many incredible things that he will never forget - a tormented man through Drug Court was dealing with addiction, started running alongside David (with proper shoes now on his feet) - he was taught to regain respect for yourself, to maintain sobriety, and to live each day with promise, rather than despair. This new revived soul went on to eventually complete the Bismarck Half Marathon - on the second anniversary of his sobriety date. "I want to thank you for this running program, you saved my life" that was on a text message the Judge received.

Building a community - running brings us together

David Reich has been a Judge since 2006 - 60-70% of cases he comes across have drugs and alcohol issues. He understands how vital it is to have some kind of support system for when people who are suffering from addiction get out of jail. Reich has run with prisoners in a small group of around 17 people back in 2019 at Missouri River Correctional Center when that started, numbers eventually grew to around 110 out of 180 residents. This is the kind of man he is - he knows the pattern, the nature of addiction.

Some moments I observed at the recent trial

During the recent murder trial, I noticed that the Judge was able to insert some of his own personality - one of the jury members was visibly having some trouble staying alert during long stretches of the day - the Judge quickly came up with an idea, for a 30 - 60 second "stretch break" from time-to-time - a genius idea no doubt incorporated through his experience with exercise. There is one last thing I wanted to point out, that I believe shows what kind of character David Reich is - as a human being. When he read the final verdicts on that day we all will never forget (August 20th), he finished by saying that he was going to order a pre-sentence investigation in this matter. Wanting to know more about the defendant before the sentences are imposed on him. Now I have never heard of such a thing, and clearly, to me, it shows a responsible moral thing to do. Some would just "Throw away the key" and be on with it. This Judge just wants to be sure that EVERYONE involved with this horrific case is handled with class.

We are lucky to have David Reich and RADD here in BisMan.

You can see the kind of awesome work that David and RADD produce by running with his group and taking part in the annual Santa Run. Runners and walkers are all welcome and check it out, they will even go that "Extra Mile" to supply running shoes for those that need them. Our city is lucky to have Judge David Reich, and we are grateful to have a man who genuinely cares about others


 

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