Recognition for a Great Public Defender

Mary Moriarty, chief public defender for Hennepin County public defender office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been selected as the 2015 Stephen B. Bright Award recipient from Gideon’s Promise.

Gideon’s Promise is a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to mobilize and train public defenders to provide the highest quality representation to people unable to afford an attorney.

The Stephen B. Bright Award – whose namesake continues to be one of the nation’s greatest champions for indigent defense in the South and beyond – is given annually to a member of the Gideon’s Promise community who has done the most to help support and drive the organization’s effort to build a movement to transform indigent defense.

“Mary has been a core faculty member for Gideon’s Promise since its inception,” says Jonathan Rapping, founder of Gideon’s Promise and MacArthur Genius Fellow. “She volunteers countless hours training and mentoring our public defenders, and helping develop curriculum. Mary has also been one of our strongest ambassadors. She frequently uses social media, speaking invitations and interview opportunities to raise awareness of Gideon’s Promise’s work and its impact on criminal justice reform. We are proud to give this year’s honor to Mary.”

Recently celebrating her one year anniversary as the head of the Hennepin County public defender office, Moriarty has worked to bring many of the lessons of Gideon’s Promise to her staff. She continuously looks for ways to help build a movement for reform where the need is the greatest and to engage in outreach to build support for our efforts.

To learn more about Gideon’s Promise and the work it is doing, visit, or contact (404) 921-3836.

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