After earning his law degree, Mark joined a Washington, D.C., law firm. He met his future wife at work, married her in 1990, and in 1995 answered a job opening for an in-house attorney at a company in the heart of Kansas called Koch Industries. Soon the Holden family, with two young children in tow, headed west.
“We settled in and had two more kids. And then, you know, life just went on and here we are,” Mark muses, smiling.
Throughout his career at Koch, Mark has seen firsthand the enormous power wielded by our criminal justice system, as well as the financial burden of defending oneself against it. He believes our system makes it extremely difficult for a poor person to defend themselves against charges or accusations.
“We have a two-tiered society. And if you’re wealthy and connected, you get a much better deal than if you’re poor – particularly in our criminal justice system. If you want to help people improve their lives and remove obstacles to opportunity for the least advantaged, and if you believe in individual liberty and freedom and justice, and you care about your community, and you have a moral passion, there’s no other position you can take other than being for criminal justice reform.”
Mark speaks about Koch's involvement in this issue.