Donald C. Brockett was active as an attorney for more than fifty-two years. He is now retired and has begun a new adventure as an author.
After graduating from Gonzaga University Law School in 1961, he joined the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s office as a deputy and advanced in various positions until 1969 when he was appointed Prosecuting Attorney. He served in the office for a total of thirty-three years, twenty-five of those years as the elected prosecutor. While in the office he was the trial attorney handling multiple criminal cases including homicide cases, four of which where the death penalty was sought. He was appointed a special United States Attorney to assist in the trial of a federal criminal case against the leader of the Ghost Riders biker group, prosecuting him for the murder of a police officer. He has argued in the appellate courts of Washington state, federal appellate courts and in the U.S. Supreme Court.
One of his most memorable criminal prosecutions was that of Fred Coe who was accused of being the “south hill rapist” after a number of women had been raped in Spokane. After the trial resulting in several convictions, Coe’s mother tried to hire a hit man to have the trial judge killed and Brockett beaten until he was an “addlepated vegetable” who was to be in diapers for the rest of his life. Police learned of the plot and set up a sting operation, meeting with Mrs. Coe, recording her conversation, and arresting her. Mrs. Coe was convicted and sentenced to jail for 90 days of "school release time". The case became the topic of Jack Olson's book "Son" and was a 1991 television program "Sins of the Mother".
While the elected prosecutor, he served on the state Sentencing Guidelines Commission, helped to write the Criminal Rules for Superior Courts in the state, and was President of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He aided in the drafting of legislation for the legislature and was active in an attempt to eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for sexual abuse against children in Washington. He has served on committees for sexual assault victims, and taught at the Police Academy along with teaching continuing legal education courses for the Prosecutor’s Association and taught an ethics course for the Washington Association of County Elected Officials.
He was active in the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Spokane, serving as President 1984-85. He was active on the Rape Crisis Advisory Board while prosecuting attorney and the Deaconess Hospital Regional Child Abuse Center Board.
He won the Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award for Drug Alert Program in 1970, the Citizens For Decency Through Law, Distinguished Prosecutor Award in 1981, the Spokane Chapter, American Business Women's Association, Business Associate of the Year Award in 1986, the Northwest Coalition against Malicious Harassment Public Service Award for Outstanding Prosecution of Hate Crimes in 1989, and the Rape Crisis Advisory Board Award of Excellence in 1994.
He has taught the following: Gonzaga University Law School - Criminal Prosecution Seminar; Bar Refresher courses in Criminal Law; Spokane Police Department Regional Law Enforcement Training Center; Continuing Legal Education classes for Washington Association Prosecuting Attorneys; and, Criminal law courses for in-house training of bar applicants in the law firm of which he was an associate.
After retiring from the prosecutor’s office, he joined a private law firm where he practiced for another seven years, handling various civil cases . He then retired for a second time and eventually became concerned about how U.S. Supreme Court decisions had affected our country so he decided to write books about the problem and possible solutions.
He currently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife Jean. They had five children, one of whom died in a plane crash in 1987. They currently have thirteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.