Friday, November 22
Kevin P. Tully
Public Defender for Mecklenburg County
Topic "Crime and the Courts - Beyond the Headlines"
Crime and the Courts are often in the news headlines. But are the stories accurate? Why does it matter?
In this talk, I will examine some recent news coverage of these topics and discuss how the public is often left with misleading or false impressions. We will discuss why a better understanding by the public will lead to both improved safety and greater justice. In particular we will explore coverage of bail reform and the District Attorney Office rate of dismissing gun charges.
Mr. Kevin P. Tully is the Public Defender for Mecklenburg County. He joined the office in 1989 and was appointed to his first term as Public Defender in 2007. During his time in the office, Mr. Tully has served in many capacities - intern, paralegal, investigator, and attorney.
The Mecklenburg County Public Defender Office represents about 20,000 clients each year in criminal trial court. The office represents people who are accused of crime and are unable to afford a lawyer. Currently there are 62 attorneys and 35 support staff (social workers, investigators, legal assistants, interpreter) serving clients in Mecklenburg.
During his tenure as Public Defender, he has sought to improve the services provided to clients by introducing holistic approaches to criminal defense and has championed efforts to bring about reforms in the criminal court system.
Mr. Tully has also sought to improve services for poor clients beyond Mecklenburg. He is a founding faculty member of the UNC School of Government's Trial School, and each summer participates in teaching trial skills at the week long seminar to attorneys who represent poor clients.
He has served as the President of the NC Association of Public Defenders and as a Steering Committee member for the National Association for Public Defense. In 2018, he was recognized by the NC Association of Public Defenders with the James E. Williams Award for his office's work in fighting for racial equity in the court system.
He was born in Brooklyn, NY. He moved to Charlotte while in high school. Mr. Tully graduated from Charlotte Catholic High School ('81), UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A. '85) and UNC Law School (J.D. '89).