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Justice With Hope: Meet Federal Judge Joe Webster

When Joe Webster became an attorney, one of his first cases was a civil rights lawsuit he filed against his hometown of Madison, North Carolina. He successfully argued that it was wrong for the town to deny him, a black man, his own office space in a predominantly white neighborhood.

That case continues to resonate with him today as a federal magistrate judge for North Carolina's Middle District. He is the first point of contact for people who are entering the U.S. court systems, and often describes his job as a delicate balance between dispensing justice and offering hope for offenders.

But as he learned from the lawsuit against his own hometown, recognizing injustice is just as critical as the duty to deliver justice.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Judge Joe Webster about his work, and about the state of the American justice system.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.