Dutchess County Senior Assistant Public Defender
Honored with Statewide Award

Poughkeepsie… John Evans, Senior Assistant Public Defender with the Dutchess County Public Defender’s Office, has received the 2019 Denison Ray Criminal Defender Award from the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). Named in memory of Denison Ray, a career legal activist who led legal services programs in New York and other states, the award is given biannually by the Association’s Committee on Mandated Representation at the NYSBA Continuing Legal Education seminar, held in Albany on June 7th. The award recognizes attorneys with institutional providers who exemplify the highest level of professionalism in providing skilled and zealous representation to indigent clients in criminal proceedings.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Dutchess County’s dedicated public defenders serve a vital role in ensuring everyone, regardless of income, has access to a trial and representation. These men and women consistently go above and beyond to understand any underlying issues that may be contributing to their clients’ criminal behaviors, and often make the connections necessary for clients to get the help they need. In his six years of service, John Evans has led by example, mentoring and assisting colleagues during challenging cases by demonstrating passionate and effective client advocacy. Congratulations to John for receiving this much deserved recognition.”

Mr. Evans was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1996 and joined the Dutchess County Public Defender’s office in 2013 as a Senior Assistant Public Defender. In this role, Mr. Evans represents indigent clients in all phases of criminal defense litigation in town, village, and county courts ranging in gravity from petty offenses to felony charges.

Public Defender Thomas Angell said, “Mr. Evans has found his true calling as an advocate for the poor caught up in what is often and unforgiving criminal justice system. Not only has he demonstrated dedication, empathy and compassion toward his clients, but he has earned the respect of his opponents and colleagues. Thanks to his work ethic and devotion to the preparation process necessary to secure an acquittal, John has seen amazing success in the courtroom. John’s willingness to assist others makes our office a more cohesive and effective team as we continue to strive to make a difference in our community.”

In their extensive nomination for the award, several colleagues praised Mr. Evans for his commitment, tenacity, and professionalism. His client-centric approach to practicing law is evidenced by the numerous thank you letters from clients included in the nomination, many mentioning his thoughtfulness and persistent advocacy on their behalf.