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Coming up on Connections: Monday, July 25, 2022

First hour: Justin Morris on violence prevention in Rochester

Second hour: Jill Paperno on criminal justice reform

Rochester is on pace to exceed the number of homicides from a year ago, despite a steady flow of funding and initiatives designed to prevent violence. Why isn't it working? Our guest brings a perspective that takes us directly to those who are hurting; to those who need help. Can we reach them? In studio:

  • Justin Morris, founder and CEO of Untrapped Ministries Gun Violence Prevention and Community Empowerment Organization

Then in our second hour, when gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin campaigned in Fairport, an incident occurred that was initially described as a "violent attack with a knife." The reality was more complicated; an inebriated and confused veteran had approached Zeldin while holding a plastic cat-shaped keychain, sometimes used as a tool for self-defense. The man was wrestled to the ground; he was charged locally in a way that required immediate release. Zeldin condemned the system for letting the man go free while charges are pending; critics have said that the Monroe County District Attorney's office, which has close ties to Zeldin, could have pursued more serious charges that would have mandated bail. Our guest discusses how charges work; the current debate about criminal justice reform; and the need for vibrant public defense. In studio:

  • Jill Paperno, civil rights litigator for the Empire Justice Center, and former Monroe County Public Defender
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.