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Watch: Media Coverage of Prosecutors and Their Elections

February 22, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Watch now: Play a recording of this event.

A recent survey found that most Americans do not know that their local prosecutor is elected.  How could that be?

One possible answer to that question may lie in the media coverage that prosecutors receive.  Outside of large cities, prosecutors do not receive much media coverage, and the coverage that they do receive rarely mentions that they are an elected office—even in an election year.

Join the Prosecutors and Politics Project for an important discussion about media coverage of prosecutors and their elections, featuring journalists and prosecutors!

Panelists include:

Mark Dupree, Sr., District Attorney in Wyandotte County, Kansas

Dupree leads an office of over 60 employees. His administration has increased the felony trial conviction rate by 27%. Dupree has successfully created the first ever “Conviction Integrity Unit” in the state of Kansas, since re-named “Community Integrity Unit” which is responsible for ensuring that convictions obtained previously still hold integrity today and holding law enforcement accountable with the establishment of a hotline for residents to register complaints. His efforts for transforming the traditional manner in which District Attorney’s Offices have operated has been recognized nationally, with articles featured twice in the New York Times and interviewed on the nationally syndicated Roland Martin Show. Community involvement is the bedrock of the Dupree Administration. It builds community trust, and that trust greatly assists in crime prevention and bringing justice. Dupree and his administration lead the way in speaking at schools, neighborhood watch meetings, church gatherings, and civic organizations.

Julie Gunnigle, Legal Director, Arizona NORML

Gunnigle is an attorney and former prosecutor who fights for justice in our criminal legal system, for funding in our public schools, and for reproductive justice for our families. She was the 2020 and 2022 Democratic nominee for Maricopa County Attorney, coming closer than any reform candidate in 40 years to taking that office. Since that time, Gunnigle has worked as the Legal Director for Arizona NORML where she helps individuals who have been directly impacted by the war on drugs expunge their convictions and get a true second chance.

George Joseph, Senior Reporter for The City

Joseph is a Senior Reporter for The City with a focus on criminal justice and courts. He previously worked for WNYC and Gothamist, and has published stories with NPR, ProPublica, Esquire, and The Intercept among other outlets.

Will Knight, Attorney, Maricopa County, Arizona

Knight is a directly impacted Colombian-American attorney who practices criminal defense and civil rights litigation in Phoenix, Arizona.  Knight has a background in both prosecution and indigent defense, and he had the privilege of defending numerous protesters against false, politically motivated gang prosecutions during the 2020 uprising, leading to several high profile multi-plaintiff and class action lawsuits against local police and prosecutors.  Knight ran in a crowded field for Maricopa County Attorney in 2019 and 2020 following the appointment of the previous office-holder to the Supreme Court of Arizona.

Ryan Thornburg, Associate Professor at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Thornburg is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an interest in social media, data driven reporting and digital media economics. Before joining the school in 2007, he spent a decade in leadership positions in online newsrooms, mostly working on national and international news at The Washington Post.


February 22, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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