October 05, 2008

Adam Tebrugge for Public Defender: On the Path

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism encourages us to seek the simple and right approach. The fifth step on this path is Right Livelihood, with a clear message: earn a living that does not hurt other people. Adam Tebrugge taped this message above his computer in the Public Defender's office, where he has served for 23 years.

When I met Adam, he told me the story of Clarence Gideon. In a prison cell here in Florida in 1963, Clarence Gideon wrote a letter to the Supreme Court that changed history. A poor man, Gideon did not have proper legal counsel and was wrongfully convicted of felony theft. As a result of his letter, his case was retried, Gideon was acquitted, and the office of Public Defender was established to provide legal representation in criminal cases for those who cannot afford an attorney.

Adam Tebrugge decided that he wanted to work at the Public Defender's office after finding himself morally opposed to Florida's decision to reinstate the death penalty. After attending New College and interning with Bob Graham's speechwriters, Adam excelled at The Florida State University College of Law and could have taken almost any private position in the State of Florida. He chose public service instead, and for the last 23 years he has dedicated his career to providing high quality, cost effective representation to our poorest citizens. Today, Adam is the only attorney in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties qualified to handle death penalty cases, and continues to educate other attorneys on the subject.

Now he needs your help.

This November, you will elect the next Public Defender of the 12th Judicial Circuit (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties). When you cast your vote in this election, please remember:

  • Adam Tebrugge is the only candidate who is qualified to prepare, litigate and supervise death penalty cases. These are the most complex and expensive cases in the system. Without a qualified attorney, a case might be overturned on appeal at great cost, or worse yet, result in wrongful conviction or execution.
  • Adam Tebrugge is the only candidate who is a board certified criminal trial attorney. This means he has tried enough cases, received recommendations from judges and other attorneys, and passed a difficult examination, qualifying him as a specialist in criminal law.
  • Adam Tebrugge is the only candidate with experience training attorneys throughout the State of Florida. He has taught Public Defender College for lawyers fresh out of law school, and has conducted death penalty training for today’s most experienced attorneys.
  • Adam Tebrugge is the only candidate who received the NAACP Freedom Award for Public Service, and the Jim Slater award for professionalism in the practice of criminal law.
Adam's campaign message is "making justice work" by accomplishing specific goals during his term in office:
  • Improve the quality of legal representation through enhanced training of attorneys;
  • Focus staff on jail issues and seek early resolution of undisputed cases;
  • Work with Judges and the Clerk of the Courts to improve the administration of justice and ensure representation of only the truly indigent;
  • Closely monitor costs to make better use of available funds, and be a voice for common sense on local criminal justice issues.
Adam Tebrugge believes that our Public Defender must provide leadership in the courtrooms and in the community. He has devoted his entire professional life to the Public Defender's Office and has worked hard to establish a solid record of preparation and professionalism, but he needs your vote to get elected.

VOTE ADAM TEBRUGGE FOR PUBLIC DEFENDER!Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Adam Tebrugge, Democrat for Public Defender 12th Circuit