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Crosscurrents

Jeff Adachi - California's only elected public defender

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San Francisco is the only city in California where the voters choose their public defender. Since 2002,  the city has elected Jeff Adachi. He comes from a long line of public defenders who have been fighting to give equal representation to those caught up in the criminal justice system. Every year his office takes on more than twenty five thousand clients who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a lawyer.

“San Francisco is the most progressive, pro union, lefty - and I'd probably be the poster boy for that in many ways.”

Click the audioplayer above to hear the entire interview.

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Holly Kernan is the architect of the award-winning Public Interest Reporting Project. She is currently news director at KALW 91.7FM in San Francisco. In 2009 she was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Kernan teaches journalism at Mills College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has taught at Santa Rosa Junior College, Youth Radio and San Francisco State University's Lifelong Learning Institute. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Mike, daughter, Julia, and retired greyhound Benjamin Franklin.