SF Mayor Breed chooses Manohar Raju as city’s new public defender

A Perfect Choice for San Francisco


San Francisco Mayor London Breed has selected Manohar “Mano” Raju as the city’s next public defender, following the death of Jeff Adachi last month.

Breed announced the appointment at a private meeting early Monday with the staff of the public defender’s office. Multiple people present said the announcement was met with a standing ovation for Raju.

Raju is a longtime deputy public defender who was working as one of the office’s managing attorneys for felony cases. He said Monday that he will run for the position in the November election.

Raju has been with the San Francisco public defender’s office for 11 years and previously worked as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County.

Raju earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a law degree from UC Berkeley. He lives in Oakland, but will move to San Francisco for the job.

 He’s a founding member of Public Defenders for Racial Justice, an organization of public defenders and defense attorneys who advocate for race-conscious courtroom practices, like making juries better reflect local populations. 

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