Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Obituary for David Lerman
The idea was a rose in winter, and David Lerman was the perfect man to make it bloom.
Lerman was an assistant district attorney when he came to his boss, District Attorney E. Michael McCann, with a novel concept he'd heard about: rather than just sending criminals off to prison, why not try to repair the harm?
It was called restorative justice, bringing offenders face to face with victims to hear what their crime had done to a life, a community. McCann was not impressed.
"I needed to be persuaded," McCann said. So Lerman kept coming back, gently pushing. In time, Lerman convinced his boss that criminal justice meant more than putting a criminal in jail.
The man whom McCann calls "the father of restorative justice in Milwaukee County" died Thursday of cancer at his home with his wife and three daughters by his side. He was 56.
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