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There’s a new top prosecutor in Utah County, and he says he’ll reform the criminal justice system — or fail trying

Provo • It’s been 15 years, but David Leavitt’s eyes still well with tears when he recounts sitting in a cramped holding cell listening to a man scream in anger, shrieks that eventually turned into sobs.

Leavitt had just spent the past three weeks defending the man in a federal trial. A jury debated for 10 hours before convicting his client of a crime that would send him to prison for life.

Almost two dozen of the man’s associates had cut deals to avoid harsh sentences. All were ready to testify against Leavitt’s client.

But this man refused to take a plea deal.