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Profile: mary.moriarty

Mary Moriarty had been a public defender in Minneapolis for all of six weeks when she had her first felony suppression hearing. She prepped diligently, argued tenaciously, and lost both the motion and the subsequent trial. She was right about the issue at hand, however, and a couple of years later when the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, Moriarty—who can laugh about it now—couldn’t be pried away from her caseload to attend oral arguments in Minnesota v Dickerson. “Next time,” she told herself. Fast-forward two decades: Moriarty has not had another occasion to argue before the high court, but she has tried a dozen murders and countless other serious felony cases—including a number that set important state-court precedents. In the process, she has acquired a national profile as a gifted courtroom advocate with a talent for training others in the creative, powerful trial skills she uses to secure acquittal after acquittal. The training director and the managing attorney of the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office’s Adult Division, Moriarty has taught attorneys, judges, investigators, and paralegals in every region of the country. She serves on the faculty of public defender trial schools in Minnesota, Kentucky, Illinois, and Louisiana. She is a core faculty member of Gideon’s Promise. Her interactive curriculum models have been widely copied by other trainers. Her NACDL presentation, "Tuning Your Ear to the Off-Key," on prosecutorial misconduct, was featured in the April 2009 issue of The Champion.

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NAPD News

April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE 
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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principleswhich are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.  

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On March 2, 2017, NAPD released its Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution Can Reduce Defender Workload, Save Money, and Reduce RecidivismThere are more than 2 million people in jail and prison in the United States. This is a four-fold increase since 1980. This increase and the racial disproportionality among incarcerated people has led to alliances across the political spectrum to address the impact on people and on budgets.  As the new Coalition for Public Safety has put it, “Our country has an ‘overcriminalization’ problem and an ‘overincarceration’ problem — and it’s getting worse." NAPD authored this statement because there is a great opportunity to make transformative changes that can improve justice and save money.  A variety of organizations representing a wide spectrum of political views have joined together to end the systematic problem of overcriminalization and narrow the net of incarceration by reforming criminal codes.