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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Public defender wants alternatives to juvenile detention

Pd Nashville's new public defender says she is most proud of two things: the good work her office does in representing the city's poor and being the city's first woman to hold the office.

Dawn Deaner, a 12-year veteran of the office, was appointed by Metro Council Tuesday night to lead the office until 2010. She'll be completing the term of Ross Alderman, who was killed last month in a motorcycle accident.

I can't say enough about how proud I am to be a part of this office," Deaner said. "And how lucky Nashville is to have had the great public defenders we have had."

Deaner sat down with The Tennessean last week and talked about her respect for the history of the public defender's office and her vision for the future.

Ross Alderman was well respected in your office and in the community. Tell me about some of the qualities he possessed that you admired in him.

He cared deeply about our clients. He was doing this job because he cared, and saw humanity in each client we dealt with. Whether they were a homeless person charged with panhandling, or somebody who had committed a very serious offense, he saw their humanity. I think that's one of the most admirable qualities about him. [Mark Godsey]

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