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#203 Richard Davies, Public Defender

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(Airdate: June 28, 2020) Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Richard Davies, senior public defender for Jefferson County. Richard and his team represent anyone in Jefferson County who needs state-funded legal representation after being arrested. He estimates that’s about 90% of all legal cases here. We actually have witnessed a drop in the crime rate here. Changing drug laws have helped reduce the overall number of felony charges. The pandemic also helped reduce crime numbers. Fewer people have been out and about and the police have been reluctant to pull over cars for things like broken tail lights. Still, Richard believes our legal system needs a thorough overhaul. Society is in the midst of change. For example, attitudes toward addiction have shifted. We now have a Drug Court which aims to “give people a hand up rather than a boot in the back.”