A law student of mine (hat tip to Cason Cagle) sent me this TED Talk featuring Adam Foss, a prosecutor in Suffolk County (Boston). Mr. Foss lays out a unique and absolutely necessary rethinking of the way prosecutors should be approaching their cases. As he explains, “When a kid commits a crime, the US justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if saddling young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time.” Foss explains that every defendant charged with murder that started off as an innocent kid that was repeatedly dealt a short hand, be it a poor education, lack of access to resources, a violent neighborhood, lack of adequate supervision, etc. This is more than just a diversion court here, or deferred adjudication there – this is a rethinking of the entire role of the prosecutor in the system. It’s passionate and compelling. I highly recommend you take a few minutes to watch/listen.
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