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Revered Defense Attorney Gunned Down

Mark Stanziano

On June 27, an armed man, described as mentally ill, gunned down prominent defense attorney Mark Stanziano. Mark was an advocate for many defendants whom others considered not deserving of his time and talents.

We note his death here because of all the hours he spent working to keep the Commonwealth from killing many of those whom he represented. He stood steadfastly in the way of the killing machine in Kentucky and limited the number of those who could be on our death row.

At his funeral The Advocate Messenger reported that Public Advocate Ed Monahan said,

“He was a warrior who changed the stars for his clients.”

One of those clients, Bryan Daniels, was not on the program but gave a tear-choked tribute to the man who “saved my life.”

Daniels, of Wayne County, was accused of murder in 2009 when his 20-month son died after drinking drain cleaner left over from a methamphetamine cook at an apartment where they were staying. Stanziano won an acquittal.

“I’m a free man now because of him,” Daniels said. “Mark believed in me when no one else did. He fought for me when no one else would. Mark treated me like a son. He taught me how to be a better man.”

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that a fund honoring him is being established:

Several of Stanziano’s classmates started a drive to collect money for an endowment in his name to support the criminal law moot court team at the law school.

“We hope to keep Mark’s legacy alive by helping students improve their skills in the criminal law field,” those behind the fund drive said in a message to other graduates.

On July 1 Monahan used his authority and named Stanziano the first Honorary Kentucky Public Defender. Read his remarks and those of many who worked with him by clicking here.

KCADP joins others in expressing gratitude for the life he lived and for the lives he saved. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Photo: Facebook Page, Mark Stanziano

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