December 30, 2008

Tebrugge to be Honored at World Peace Day Event

Longtime Public Defender Adam Tebrugge will be honored for his 23 years of service to the poor in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties when the Southwest Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice celebrates World Day of Peace Thursday, January 1st.

The celebration will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. The celebration is free and open to the public. It starts at 11 a.m.

Adam Tebrugge was born in Tampa, Florida in 1961. He came to Sarasota where he attended New College, majored in Religion and Political Science, and spent a semester in the press office of Governor Bob Graham. After graduating with high honors from the Florida State University College of Law, Adam returned to Sarasota in 1984 to join the Public Defender's office. He spent the next 23 years there until resigning to run for election in 2008. During his time at the office, Adam became well known for his preparation and passion in the courtroom as he defended a succession of high profile cases. In 2008 he received the Jim Slater award for professionalism in the practice of criminal law.

A life long opponent of capital punishment, Adam defended more than a dozen death penalty cases in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. In the 1990's, he joined the Death Penalty Steering Committee of the Florida Public Defender's Association. The main focus of this group was to ensure that attorneys were properly trained to defend capital cases throughout the State of Florida. For more than a decade, Adam gave the primary lecture on death penalty law and procedure to hundreds of attorneys attending the annual "Life Over Death" seminar.

In 2002, Adam began publicly speaking out against the death penalty. He was invited to attend a variety of churches, schools, professional and civic groups to discuss the cost and unfair application of capital punishment. In 2008, Adam campaigned for Public Defender by stressing the historic mission of the office and its role in protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens. Additionally, Adam serves on the board of directors of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness and is active with a variety of other organizations. He has now opened his own law practice, and remains available to speak on issues of criminal justice reform and abolition of the death penalty.