Apr 24, 2018
Spencer Merriweather III is
the Mecklenburg County District Attorney, leading an office of over
200 attorneys and staff who prosecute state felonies and
misdemeanor charges. He served as an Assistant District
Attorney in the felony division in Mecklenburg County for more than
a decade. He previously led the District Attorney’s Office's
Habitual Felon Prosecution Team and has prosecuted a variety of
crimes ranging from homicide, robbery and sexual assault. He has
been an active member of the Mecklenburg County Bar is the incoming
director of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation Board. He earned a
B.A. in Politics with certificates in American and African American
studies from Princeton University and J.D. from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This episode is perfect for anyone interested in
criminal justice reform, the emotional burdens of prosecuting
crimes, serving as the voice of victims, and finding solace in
IN THIS EPISODE
- Spencer shares
what he has learned as Mecklenburg County District
Attorney (D.A.) in his first five months on the job.
- He talks about the
administrative initiative that is most important to
- He answers whether he is a
good D.A. and what makes him good.
- He explains what he means
by the phrase '21st century prosecutor.'
- Spencer addresses what he
thinks is the underlying causes of crime.
- He considers whether there
are people who are just bad.
- He reveals what he
takes pleasure in as a prosecutor, what guides the
charging of a crime, and his position on the decriminalization of
- He discusses bias in
- Spencer shares what he
tries to put at the
center of all of his decisions.
- He answers whether he has
ever regretted prosecuting someone and how he feels when someone he
has prosecuted is found guilty and sentenced.
- He describes a moment when
he thought the job would break him.
- He discusses how he hopes
to impact mass incarceration and the criminal
- Spencer talks about the
'Spencer Merriweathers' who came before him, growing up in Mobile,
Alabama, attending Catholic school from K-8, and how his
friends would have described him in high school.
- He reflects on his time as
student body president
at Princeton University, being a Congressional Aide
during 9/11 and what drew him to the D.A.'s office in
- He answers whether he has
been managing his resume to run for public office and
whether he has ever marched for civil rights or
protested in the streets.
- He discusses his
role reviewing the police shooting of Keith Lamont
- Spencer shares how his
faith informs his work and what he wants his life to be
Mark Peres adds a personal word that begins this way, "Spencer
Merriweather challenged my view of prosecutors. His outward manner
was humble and compassionate. He self-examined and thoughtfully
engaged. He talked about systems and structures..."
To learn more, visit On Life and Meaning