Former Public Defender, Proven Progressive Reformer

Todd Williams, 52, is a North Carolina native and lifelong progressive Democrat. Born in Winston-Salem, he attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating in 1992. After college, Todd taught English as a second language and basic literacy skills to immigrant textile workers and the homeless. That experience led Todd to pursue a career in public service law.

Todd worked for nearly 15 years as a public defender. Todd represented defendants at every level in our justice system as a public defender and capital defender--from misdemeanors to murder. By 2014, per the NC Innocence Inquiry Commission, five young working-class African American men had been convicted on bad, undisclosed evidence, and had served years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

 

The integrity of the justice system was at an ebb and Todd wanted to restore it. Todd ran against and defeated a 24-year incumbent, and then Todd defeated another candidate.

As DA, Todd has resolved heinous crimes while concurrently working to reverse questionable past convictions including convictions of the young men who were exonerated and also to remove a different man from solitary confinement and death row.

Todd has also delivered on promised reforms and advances. Todd was instrumental in creating wraparound services for victims through the Child Advocacy Center and the Family Justice Center, and services for offenders including the Justice Resource Center, the Opioid, and Juvenile Misdemeanor Diversion Programs, Veterans’ Treatment Court, expungement clinics and amnesty days, all focused on pathways for non-violent offenders to achieve employability and recovery without the stigma of a conviction.

Todd recommended investigation of the former County Manager and called for an end to self-investigation of potential criminal behavior by law enforcement agencies. Todd has made it easier for the public and the Bar to access to the District Attorney’s Office through the use of technology, specifically a new website and new online portals.

 

Currently, Todd is proud to serve as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, and is an active participant in national justice reform projects sponsored by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution, and Fair and Just Prosecution.    

Todd is a NC State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. He offers unparalleled depth of experience as your District Attorney. He lives in Asheville with his wife and two children. Todd’s endorsers include Clerk of Superior Court Steve Cogburn, Sheriff Van Duncan, Senator Terry Van Duyn, Representative John Ager, Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger, and advocates for criminal justice reform including Civil Rights attorney Frank Goldsmith, Kevin Rumley of Veterans Treatment Court, social worker Noel Nickle, and longtime anti-death penalty and prisoner advocate Cecil Bothwell.

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