Bristol DA Sam Sutter on Newsmakers

Sam Sutter, who last year ousted Paul Walsh as the district attorney of Bristol County in nearby Massachusetts, joined Steve Aveson and myself for a taping of Newsmakers today.

Sutter, whose jurisdiction includes Fall River and New Bedford, described taking an absolute line against plea bargains on certain gun-related charges, as part of an effort to reduce violence in those communities. He says that word of this approach has reached into the prison system.

The DA, a former pro tennis player, has a program in which his office organizes tennis clinics for at-risk youth.

Sutter said he sees evidence of economic improvements in the two cities, which -- like Rhode Island -- have struggled to regain the bygone prosperity of the Industrial Revolution. He acknowledged, though, that curbing drug dealing is very difficult.

Also appearing this week on Newsmakers, to be broadcast Sunday at 5:30 am on Channel 12, and at 10 am on Fox 64, are former Providence Police Chief Richard Sullivan, who is working to curb drunk driving in Rhode Island, and third-party gubernatorial candidate Robert Healey, best known for his work with the Cool Moose Party.

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