This week on the Public Defenseless Podcast, I spoke with Ed Monahan, former Public Advocate of Kentucky. His work in Kentucky public defense started in 1976, and with such a storied career, Ed offers truly insightful analysis of what went wrong and what went right in the development of state wide public defense in Kentucky. 
With the help of people like Ed and Ernie Lewis (a future guest and another former Public Advocate of the State), Kentucky set up a rather strong infrastructure to provide public defender services via 33 full time public defender offices and 5 offices that handle specialty areas of law. At its core, Kentucky boasts a well organized and statutorily strong system for Public Defense BUT it is plagued and crippled by decades of inadequate funding by the state legislature as so many other public defender systems are. 
Aside from his insight into the history of Kentucky Public Defense, Ed offers deep thoughts on the need for a law imbued with mercy, the need for public defenders to demonstrate to the public way they are integral to public safety, and the successes in building coalitions for criminal justice reform with unlikely partners.
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