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31 days of ideas
Adam Foss

A prosecutor's vision for a better justice system

Recommended by Anil Seth

Some people start out in life with better chances than others – this is one side of social inequality that we're all familiar with. Watching Adam Foss's brilliant TED Talk showed me the other side in a whole new light. It's not just about equality of opportunities -- it's about how even scarce opportunities can be taken away at the stroke of a pen. Foss, a former prosecutor with the Suffolk County DA Office in Boston, lays bare how the simple decisions made by prosecutors day-in, day-out, change lives forever. 
Foss speaks with eloquence and conviction about his own experiences, describing a side of the US justice system I'd known nothing of. He tells us how, by recognizing and taking responsibility for the power he had been given, he was able to turn lives around. His talk isn't just about the intricacies of US legal practice, and it's more than a heartwarming tale of someone's life redeemed. Adam reminds us all to be aware of the power we have over others, and to use it responsibly.

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