Protesters Ask Holder To Investigate Yolo and Sacramento DA’s

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Around 30 protesters carrying signs and braving a light but steady rain gathered in front of the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office and then marched to the Matsui Courthouse in order to deliver a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder asking for an investigation into the District Attorneys–Jeff Reisig of Yolo County and Jan Scully of Sacramento County.

Organizer Rev. Ashiya Odeye from the Justice Reform Coalition told the Vanguard late Monday:

“We are asking the AG to investigate both DA’s and their departments for violations of Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act. We also want him to stop all funding until after the investigation concludes. Our ultimate is to have both DA’s removed or resign.”

While there were a number of experiences mentioned from both counties on Monday, a large contingent of the protesters came in opposition to the Ajay Dev case.

Rev. Odeye told the Vanguard that they are asking for intervention because their experience tells them

“The Judges and DA are in such collusion, that you can’t expect to get a fair trial.”

The letter that Rev. Odeye delivered with supporters to the Attorney General and also Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s office read in part:

“The “justice train” has been derailed here in California. Over the past three years, the advocates and organizations that are a part of the Justice Reform Coalition, and those we work with have been dealing with the fallout caused by the abusive, wasteful, racist, and reactionary practices and policies of the DA’s of Sacramento, and Yolo Counties. We see instance after instance of the negative effects of these overtly discriminatory policies on people, families, and the community in general. Together they form a pattern of abuse and disregard for the law and the rights of our citizens, especially those of color and on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. Our communities are no safer than they were before these tyrants took office.”

It continued:

“The DA’s in both counties run their departments as their personal fiefdoms, subject to their prejudices special interests and attitudes. Exaggerated charges, and overly long sentencing used to coerce plea taking to get high conviction rates to keep government funded grants, and vindictive prosecutions, and intimidations especially against people of color, are part of the usual tactics of these departments run by these two DA’s. Racism and racial profiling abound. These policies affect the courts and allow for judicial and law enforcement misconduct to happen and go unchecked.

Attorneys know that under Jan Scully and Jeff  Reisig, their clients are guilty until proven innocent. They tell their clients so. We hear it from people all the time. This is a violation of the basic tenet of our country’s legal system and the Constitution. These DA’s are the law, attorneys say to their clients, and their clients tell us. Attorneys that practice in the domains of these DA’s, fear retaliation when they fight for their clients, and characteristically fail to give their clients effectual counsel and  over 90% plea out their cases. Black and Latino defendants are subjected to this more than Whites.

Because of this, most don’t get their true due process as guaranteed in the Constitution. The wholesale violation of people’s rights is then tolerated and many innocent people go to jail and others are given sentences that don’t fit the crime. This is especially true for people of color. Children of color are charged as adults more than Whites, especially in Sacramento. They are routinely given “gang enhancements”, when they are not gang members. Their futures are ruined in the name of the law and more grant money. Prosecutions for pay! These DA’s take pride in this, saying it shows they are “tuff” on crime.”

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They call on an investigation into the respective District Attorneys and their offices.

“Therefore the JRC is demanding that the DOJ do its duty and initiate an investigation into DA Jan Scully and Jeff Reisig, and their departments. There are several recent cases which illustrate the things we are referring to which you can use as a point to start your investigation.”

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig recently touted his 90 percent conviction in an early October fundraiser.

He has linked his high conviction rate to lower crime.

“Crime in Yolo County has decreased every single year, ever since I’ve been DA.”

Of course he fails to note that crime across the map has declined in most locales since 2007 when he took over.  For protesters this 90% comes with a high cost.

A spokesperson for the family of Ajay Dev told the Vanguard that the District Attorney Reisig has carefully constructed that figure.

“The DA’s office prosecutes weak cases.  They prosecute 99.4% of all complaints no matter how strong/weak the case is.  In fact, Reisig states in an article that he has prosecuted 20,000 cases in the past three years. That is 26 new cases beginning every single weekday.”

Moreover,

“The DA’s office inflates the charges in order to get a conviction.  The strategy of listing a lot of counts against a defendant tends to make juries feel that the defendant must be guilty.”

The Dev Family and his supporters sent their own letter to the Attorney General.

Said the spokesperson,

“We are going to Eric Holder’s office because the injustice that has happened to Ajay seems to be a pattern of injustice that is happening in Yolo County.  As we have talked about Ajay’s case to others in the community, we have started to hear about other cases in Yolo county that have suffered similar injustices.  If we didn’t witness what happened in Ajay’s case, we probably wouldn’t believe that injustices like this happen in America.  But now our eyes are open.”

Asked why they believe that they cannot get justice in Yolo County, the spokesperson responded,

“We do not feel that we can get a fair trial in Yolo County because we have witnessed DDA Mount lie in court to the jury on several occasions.  We have witnessed the DA’s office lie to the media about this case.  We have watched a DA’s office push forth a weak case with no evidence and fabricate stories to get a conviction. We watched the judge give DDA Mount 16 days to present very little evidence, and then he limited the defense to 6 1/2 days.”

Currently the case is going through the appeals process, however the length of time could be considerable, taking at least two to three years.

“At this juncture, I hope we can trust the appeals process to be much more judicial than what we witnessed in Yolo County. We hope very much to win the appeals process, but also realize that it can take quite a bit of time.”

The spokesperson continued,

“We of course, do not want Ajay in jail for that long when we know he is innocent.”

The Dev family and friends sent a separate letter to Attorney General Holder.  It reads:

“Friends, family and supporters of Ajay Dev are here today in unison with others who have been victimized by the corruption of the Yolo County Justice System. Ajay Dev was sentenced to 378 years in prison in a case where there was NO physical evidence. Ajay is the victim of an overzealous prosecution and unfair trial.

It is common practice for the Yolo County District Attorney’s office to stack up charges against minority defendants. Charging Ajay with 92 counts was a tactic used by DDA Steve Mount to prejudice the jurors against Ajay right from the beginning so he could win a conviction.  THIS IS NOT FAIR – THIS IS NOT JUSTICE. Currently, another minority in Yolo County is facing 150 charges. With each conviction of a sexual nature, the District Attorney receives grant money for the prosecution of these crimes. Each count is a conviction. Not all counties receive these types of grants, only a handful. The Yolo County District Attorney’s office has a record of prosecuting nearly ALL complaints, no matter how weak or strong the case—99.4 %.

Over 200 supporters of Ajay know he is innocent and has been another victim of the corruption in Yolo County. We MUST raise our voices loud and clear so that SOMEONE will take notice of the many injustices the Yolo County Justice System is waging against its citizens—citizens like you and me, like all of us here today. As people who are united in the belief and pursuit of truth and justice, we ask that our federal government take notice. We ask that they hear the unity of our voices and root out the corruption that has taken the freedom of too many innocent people. We demand that they form a formal investigation into the Yolo County Judicial System.”

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As we learned on Monday, and already suspected beforehand, the Dev case is but one example of justice in Yolo County.  There are many other stories that remain to be told both in Yolo and Sacramento Counties.  Family members told the Vanguard that they had actually expected over 200 attendees of this rally, but the numbers were cut down by not only the rain but by a Napalese festival, akin to Christmas and Thanksgiving in the Napalese culture.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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62 thoughts on “Protesters Ask Holder To Investigate Yolo and Sacramento DA’s”

  1. Julie Green

    I worked with the girl who accused Ajay of rape and know her to be a very deceitful and manipulating person. She could not be trusted to do her job and was asked to leave our employ.

  2. Huh?

    The accusations against both DA’s is that they stack up charges to convince a defendent to take a plea deal? If the defendent doesn’t take the plea deal, they get the book thrown at them? This is true of just about every courthouse in the country! I’ve never liked the idea of plea deals, but this practice is certainly ubiquitous to the American court system in general. The protesters had better come up with something better than that, or they’ll never get in the front door of the U.S. Atty General’s Office.

  3. West Coaster

    Yeh, even one of the jurors has acknowledged in a blog that the jurors hearing the Dev case did NOT find the accuser credible. Despite this, a complete lack of physical evidence and countless other factors that more than satisfy “reasonable doubt,” they found Mr. Dev guilty on numerous counts, for which he was sentenced to 378 YEARS???

  4. Outrages

    Fact:

    In the People v. Dev no forensic, physical or psychological evidence was ever introduced at trial by the D.D.A. to independently corroborate “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the accuser was ever sexually abused by the accused.

    Fact:

    The accuser forged the accused name on a medical document.

    Fact:

    The accuser lied under oath about being impregnated by the accused.

    Fact:

    The only licensed medical practitioner to examine the accuser over a period of five years (1999 – 2004) testified under oath that she saw no salient signs of any physical abuse and/or trauma suffered by the accuser.

    Fact:

    The accuser lied under oath about being shown pornography by the accused.

    Fact:

    The accuser had prior criminal convictions for perjury + forgery.

    Fact:

    The accuser never requested an “order of protection” from Yolo County
    law enforcement against the accused.

    Fact:

    In abject defiance to the trial judge’s instructions the primary investigator (Detective Mark Hermann) in the People V. Dev was caught speaking with two jurors during an afternoon recess. For the record, he received no admonishment or sanction from the judge.

    Fact:

    An innocent man has been unjustly convicted of crimes he did not commit.

  5. West Coaster

    Hmmm…seems the post I was replying to has been deleted. Oh well.

    From everything I’ve read thus far, the Dev supporters have plenty of substantial grounds to present that would warrant the inquiry they seek, regardless of the “plea deals” issue.

  6. Rich Rifkin

    Let me note up front: I have no strong feelings one way or the other about Mr. Dev’s guilt or innocence or the competence of the jury.

    I am posting because I’m confused as to why these protestors are upset with Mr. Reisig. The complaints seem to add up to:

    1) “The accuser is a liar and we think no one should believe her charges;”
    2) “We don’t like the jury’s verdict;” and
    3) “We don’t like the long prison sentence.”

    These complaints don’t indict the DA. They indict the accuser, the jury and the judge. The only way to pin the attack on Reisig’s office seems to be that the DA, like the jury and like the trial judge, found the accuser credible.

    Consider the claims by “Outrages:”

    [i]”The accuser forged the accused name on a medical document.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney. It should be noted that a rape victim does not have to be a saint. The jury seems to have believed her allegations, even if the charge about forgery is true.

    [i]”The accuser lied under oath about being impregnated by the accused.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney. However, I wonder how OUTRAGES makes his conclusion about who impregnated the accuser?

    [i]”The only licensed medical practitioner to examine the accuser over a period of five years (1999 – 2004) testified under oath that she saw no salient signs of any physical abuse and/or trauma suffered by the accuser.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney.

    [i]”The accuser lied under oath about being shown pornography by the accused.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney. He cannot be held accountable just because he has an imperfect witness.

    [i]”The accuser had prior criminal convictions for perjury + forgery.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney.

    [i]”The accuser never requested an ‘order of protection’ from Yolo County
    law enforcement against the accused.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney. Moreover, given the girl’s circumstances living in the Dev home, it’s pretty absurd to expect her to have made the request for a restraining order. There have been countless victimized women who never filed for an order of protection.

    [i]”In abject defiance to the trial judge’s instructions the primary investigator (Detective Mark Hermann) in the People V. Dev was caught speaking with two jurors during an afternoon recess. For the record, he received no admonishment or sanction from the judge.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney.

    [i]”An innocent man has been unjustly convicted of crimes he did not commit.”[/i]

    That says nothing about the District Attorney. It says, “I don’t think the jury was very smart.” You may be right. Perhaps an appeal will confirm your beliefs.

  7. Proxy

    [quote]That says nothing about the District Attorney.

    “An innocent man has been unjustly convicted of crimes he did not commit.” [/quote]

    Rich Rifkin:

    I’m afraid you don’t really understand the job and responsibilities of the District Attorney. The District Attorney’s job is not to try to convict people while ignoring evidence that might prove the innocence of the defendants.

    The District Attorney is a public servant; he’s sworn to protect tax payers.

    You are intentionally confusing a public attorney’s (D.A)responsibilities with the Modus operandi of a private attorney.

    Why Reisig? Because he is throwing innocent people in jail and handing out ridiculous charges (300 years).

    Obviously Rich, you have interest in protecting Reisig.

    Can you justify 300+ years for Dev, when Pedroia gets 1 for actually confessing to his crime(molesting a child while under the influence of Meth).

    Can you clear up your logic? Or are you pushing an agenda?

  8. Career Criminal Reisig

    Mr Reisig has a history of treating the people of Yolo County like this. Stemming back to The CHP murder trial of 2005. He was aware of Zielesch’s innocence, But chose to prosecute him anyway. I don’t know if he did it to ‘save face’ and not be looking like he made a mistake or if it was to get him on something because he couldn’t get him for something else he thought he might be doing.I truly believe that Officer Steven’s widow would want the real people to be prosecuted for the death of her husband. There is proof of Zielesch’s innocence and it was in the hands of Reisig.

    How many cases since this one has he wronged the people of Yolo County? The CHP murder trial was Reisigs big entrance case into office, maybe that is why he couldn’t back out of convicting an innocent man? All the cases since he took office should be re-evaluated and most of them retried. What kind of punishment will Reisig face when all is exposed? Will he do time and reimburse financially those he broke down to nothing? And possibly even do 20+ years community service? Heck! we can’t even trust him to do that fairly! Will he insult us all by running for office again?

  9. Obstruction of Justice

    Remember when Ed Prieto closed the court house? Where was the D.A to lift charges of obstruction of Justice? That was a constitutional violation….

  10. Tidbit

    At Zielesch’s trial the DA presented what they considered an arsenal of guns in Greg’s possession. What wasn’t mentioned was that the guns all belonged to his family; his son’s hunting guns, which they had left there after hunting and his mother’s handgun (bought after a burgulary.) The handgun had never been fired and there were no bullets for this gun. However, in court it contained bullets. Where did these bullets come from?

  11. Career Criminal Reisig

    What would Reisig do to a criminal acting like he is? He IS considered a career criminal now. Why is he not being prosecuted by higher authority?

  12. John Higgins Van Horn

    [quote]I am posting because I’m confused as to why these protestors are upset with Mr. Reisig. The complaints seem to add up to:

    1) “The accuser is a liar and we think no one should believe her charges;”
    2) “We don’t like the jury’s verdict;” and
    3) “We don’t like the long prison sentence.”
    [/quote]

    I think that Rich Rifkin missed the point, I think the protesters are saying…

    1) “We don’t think anyone should be charged with a crime without physical evidence,”

    2) “We don’t want the District Attorney to be funded based on criminal convictions, this will only encourage them to have multiple cases to fund their operations. That would be an incentive program for convictions, which is not justice. When you have a monetary incentive for guilt or innocence then justice cannot be served.”

    I agree with the protesters. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a court under those circumstances

  13. Rich Rifkin

    Proxy,

    If you are going to attack me by name, then have the F*****G BALLS to sign your name to your attack. If you can’t figure out this much, making charges against me under a fake name makes your charges all the more ludricrous.

    That said, I’ll respond because you have calumnied me and I choose to clear my name.

    First things first: [i]”Obviously Rich, you have interest in protecting Reisig.”[/i]

    Completely outrageous nonsense. I have never once met Reisig, never heard him speak in a public or other setting, and don’t know personally any employees of the DA’s office. I’m not interested in pursuing a libel case against you — I could find out who you are through a lawsuit, as David Greenwald knows. However, a simple and regretful apology for your false allegation will suffice.

    [i]”The District Attorney’s job is not to try to convict people while ignoring evidence that might prove the innocence of the defendants.”[/i]

    The DA has to weigh the evidence as he views it. In this case, his judgment, obviously, was that the weight of the evidence was that Mr. Dev was guilty. He (meaning his office) put forward the evidence to prove that to a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt; and the jury believed him and found Dev guilty. If some of the evidence presented by the prosecution was such that it should not have been heard by the jury, then an appeals court will hold that against the judge, not the DA.

    The only way that the DA could be found to have erred with regard to the evidence, is if 1) he altered it, 2) knowingly presented a falsehood that the judge and jury had no way of knowing was a falsehood, or he 3) withheld his findings of fact from the defense, because those findings made by the DA harmed his case.

    I don’t see where Mr. Dev’s furious partisans have shown any evidence of 1, 2 or 3.

    [i]”You are intentionally confusing a public attorney’s (D.A)responsibilities with the Modus operandi of a private attorney.”[/i]

    Your allegation against me here is so utterly stupid, I won’t bother to respond.

    [i]”Why Reisig? Because he is throwing innocent people in jail …”[/i]

    DA Reisig cannot and has not incarcerated anyone. Mr. Dev is in prison because under our system of jurisprudence, he was found guilty by a jury of his peers in a trial run by a qualified Superior Court judge. If the judge or jury erred, or if the prosecutor (who you have maligned but never shown what he did wrong) acted unethically in some egregious and material manner, then an appeals court will overturn Mr. Dev’s conviction, and he will be retried or freed.

    [i]”(Reisig is) … handing out ridiculous charges (300 years).”[/i]

    Mr. Dev’s sentence of three hundred seventy-eight years was not handed out by the District Attorney. It was imposed by the judge, based on California law. It does seem ridiculous to me in a sense: For a man convicted of abusing a minor in the manner Dev was found guilty of abusing his victim, it should just be (in my opinion) life in prison without the possibility of parole. I am a strong believer in the death penalty for murderers. I’m not sure if all rapists deserve to be hanged. Perhaps some of them do. But that’s not Dev’s fate. And if you and his other partisans are right, then Dev has some good chance to win at the appeals court level.

    Can you justify 300+ years for Dev, when Pedroia gets 1 for actually confessing to his crime(molesting a child while under the influence of Meth).

    Can you clear up your logic? Or are you pushing an agenda?

  14. Innocent

    These Jurors were lead around like a bunch of sheep in convicting a man without a shroud of evidence against him. If they are so confident withe their decision, I wish they would be willing come out and respond to the community’s questions in a public forum. It would be seen in five minutes that how badly they got it wrong and how unjustly they took a life of an innocent man.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Can you justify 300+ years for Dev, when Pedroia gets 1 for actually confessing to his crime (molesting a child while under the influence of Meth). Can you clear up your logic?”[/i]

    I’m troubled by your attacking me for not being logical about the Pedroia case when I have never once commented on it, you $*%&^ing *%&$! Nevertheless, I think it’s worth considering the actual crimes each man was found guilty of:

    The Davis Enterprise reported this: “Pedroia pleaded guilty to [u]one count[/u] of oral copulation with a child under age 14.”

    And this: “A jury found 42-year-old Ajay Kumar Dev guilty of [u]76 felony charges[/u], including forcible rape, forcible digital penetration, lewd acts on a minor and dissuading a witness.”

    What Pedroia conceded was horrific and inexcusable. My guess is that STATE LAW treats rape more seriously than oral sex. Whether it should or not is another question. But what Dev was found guilty of by his jury was obviously far worse by anyone’s standards.

    [i]”Or are you pushing an agenda?”[/i]

    No, I’m pushing a question — why are the Dev partisans going after Jeff Reisig? They don’t seem to have any case whatsoever against him. If there was error in this case (as they allege), it appears the errors would be put upon the judge (who may have allowed evidence in which should not have been allowed) or the jury (which may have believed the victim when they should have been more skeptical).

    As I said from the start, “I have no strong feelings one way or the other about Mr. Dev’s guilt or innocence or the competence of the jury.” However, when the partisans of one side (or at least one pusilanimous and anonymous partisan) makes outrageous attacks against me for just asking questions, then it makes me think he must be full of sh** in many other regards as well; and thus suggesting that this whole outcry for Mr. Dev might be a crock of sh** as well. I don’t know.

  16. Common Sense

    The Dev trial highlighted the very uneven playing field defendants are subject to when tried in a criminal court in Yolo County. The DA’s decision to charge Mr. Dev with 92 counts was an unnecessary and onerous tactic to overwhelm him and influence the jury as to his guilt. It made the costs of Mr. Dev’s defense go through the roof. On the other hand, the DA uses tax dollars to prepare his case. That is why it is so important the DA use integrity when deciding who to charge and take to trial on behalf of the People of California. When evidence starts breaking down and looking weaker and weaker, the idea is not to do everything in your power, including crying in front of the jury, to win your case. Justice demands a different tactic – to step back and reassess the case instead of risking sending an innocent man to prison. Unfortunately, in Mr. Dev’s case, this choice was not made.

  17. There is Doubt

    Rick Rifkin: You ask why are people upset with the District Attorney’s office. Here are few reasons:

    1. The DA’s office did no investigation into this case. They took the complainant’s word on everything. They never interviewed the defendant, friends or family. The DA’s office didn’t even check the alleged crime scenes.
    2. The DA’s office knew almost 1½ years before the trial that the complaining witness had been convicted of passport fraud and had committed perjury as an adult. Knowing that their only witness had a history of perjury, they still never did any investigation and continued the case.
    3. In 2006, the complaining witness made false accusations against Mr. Dev saying that he had threatened her father. These allegations were proved to be false. Knowing this the DA’s office still went forth with the case even though the complaining witness had a past record of making false claims. Still no investigation.
    4.Mr. Dev had passed a lie detector test. Knowing this the DA’s still pushed the case forward without any investigation.
    5.Then because the DA’s office knew that the admission of the Nepal Court Documents as evidence would weaken their case, they fought to keep them out and won—even though all the requirements for admission were there. The DA’s office wasn’t looking for the truth in this case—they wanted only the win.
    6.The DA then misrepresented the truth by pushing forward a story that Dev had paid off officials of the Nepal government and tried to keep the complaining witness in Nepal. The DA had official court documents stating why the complaining witness was held in Nepal—she was there for passport fraud. The DA knew this, yet he continued his fabrication to the jury.
    7. The DA’s office knew that the complaining witness’ story changed every time she was interviewed. When comparing her story in the original taped interview at the police station to the preliminary trial to the actual trial, her stories were contradicting each other. The DA knew that she had contradicted herself over and over. Instead of analyzing this as a possibility that she may not be telling the truth, the DA chose to push the trial forward and find some other way to convince the jury.

    Unfortunately, the DA’s office was not interested in justice in this case. Unfortunately, the jury didn’t realize that the DA’s office might not be totally honest about this case. Unfortunately, the jury believed that the DA’s office would only pursue this case if there was really something there.

    There was something there—money and prestige for the DA’s office for a conviction.

  18. There is Doubt

    Rick Rifkin: You ask why are people upset with the District Attorney’s office. Here are few reasons:

    1. The DA’s office did no investigation into this case. They took the complainant’s word on everything. They never interviewed the defendant, friends or family. The DA’s office didn’t even check the alleged crime scenes.
    2. The DA’s office knew almost 1½ years before the trial that the complaining witness had been convicted of passport fraud and had committed perjury as an adult. Knowing that their only witness had a history of perjury, they still never did any investigation and continued the case.
    3. In 2006, the complaining witness made false accusations against Mr. Dev saying that he had threatened her father. These allegations were proved to be false. Knowing this the DA’s office still went forth with the case even though the complaining witness had a past record of making false claims. Still no investigation.
    4.Mr. Dev had passed a lie detector test. Knowing this the DA’s still pushed the case forward without any investigation.
    5.Then because the DA’s office knew that the admission of the Nepal Court Documents as evidence would weaken their case, they fought to keep them out and won—even though all the requirements for admission were there. The DA’s office wasn’t looking for the truth in this case—they wanted only the win.
    6.The DA then misrepresented the truth by pushing forward a story that Dev had paid off officials of the Nepal government and tried to keep the complaining witness in Nepal. The DA had official court documents stating why the complaining witness was held in Nepal—she was there for passport fraud. The DA knew this, yet he continued his fabrication to the jury.
    7. The DA’s office knew that the complaining witness’ story changed every time she was interviewed. When comparing her story in the original taped interview at the police station to the preliminary trial to the actual trial, her stories were contradicting each other. The DA knew that she had contradicted herself over and over. Instead of analyzing this as a possibility that she may not be telling the truth, the DA chose to push the trial forward and find some other way to convince the jury.

    Unfortunately, the DA’s office was not interested in justice in this case. Unfortunately, the jury didn’t realize that the DA’s office might not be totally honest about this case. Unfortunately, the jury believed that the DA’s office would only pursue this case if there was really something there.

    There was something there—money and prestige for the DA’s office for a conviction.

  19. pleased

    There are several things that people in here are not mentioning…

    1. Where was the high priced Defense Attorney while all of these “DA tactics” were going on?
    2. Dev was found not guilty of some charges. Such as the porn charges. The defense witness showed that the porn was caused more than likely by a “porn storm” initiated by a music download site. Not by the victim or the defendant.
    3. Dev was not found guilty of the pregnancies. One was a jury deadlock and the other was not guilty. It was not because he could not have caused them, it was because there was reasonable doubt on one and dead lock on the other. The victim admitted to having a boyfriend at the time of one and the jury had no idea who fathered the baby. Dev DID take her to a clinic for one of them and admitted it to his wife several months later and even paid for the visit with his own credit card. After helping the vistim take a pregnancy test is his work office.
    4. The victim had never mentioned any attacks outside the US. It was not until the Defense Attorney brought it up and she admitted to it. He tried to show that she was lying and making things up as she went. The only thing it showed was that he had some other insider who would have told him about something happening (his own client).
    5. Even the Defense language expert never gave another translation for the “you f#$ked me after the age of 18” comment. That was NEVER disputed. Having a defense that nothing ever happened was confusing at that point to say the least.
    6. The “forgery” charges that were filed in Nepal were brought about by Dev and his family member in Nepal. The case was made by documents provided by Dev and his family. It was only strenghtened by letters written by family in the US asking that she never be allowed back into the US.
    7. Yes, something transpired by the Investigator and Jury members. What and who, I have no idea. I can only assume that whatever went on was not so outrageous that the DEFENSE ATTORNEY did not ask for a mis-trial due to Jury misconduct. Where was he during this?

    Perhaps instead of blaming the DA for his actions in prosecuting, maybe the family should be blaming the Defense Attorney for NOT doing his job….

  20. Very Sad

    Most people really don’t have a proper understanding of exactly how our justice system works. There are many, many things that jurors do not see or hear that happen in a trial. Hearings, in-camera meetings, communications between laywers, DA, police, etc… are just some of the things a juror or someone who is not privy to ALL information in a trial will never know about.

    As far as a response to pleased, I would like to point out the following:

    1.) The high-priced lawyer. First of all, this was a very complex and complicated case. There was soooo much information to cover, and the Judge only allowed the Defense 6 1/2 days at trial for over 20 witnesses. The Defense did not put on all of their witnesses, and also had to manage an extremely complicated case (over 92 charges covering 5 years with a time limit). That was not his fault. There were things that should have been covered, but simply weren’t because of other legal issues, which the jury, unfortunately, was not aware of. The Defense objected to the misconduct of the DA, but the Judge told him that if he made that insinuation again, he would move straight to deliberations. It is a misconception that just because you have counsel, things will be done properly, or a perfect Defense is put forth.

    2.)The porn on the victim’s computer–the Defense expert witness tied the viewing of the pornography on the victim’s computer to her viewing it. Unfortunately, the Defense attorney dropped the ball and did not ask him the pertinent questions showing this to be the case. The Prosecution objected throughout, and the judge ruled in the prosecutions favor. The Defense expert privately explained that he was going to use the Dev case in his seminars to show how the forensics unquestionably showed that the defendant was not guilty, but the prosecution moved forward anyway. He is a consultant for Homeland Security and the FBI. Also, the judge did not allow into evidence, over objection by the defense, that would have shown conclusively that Mr. Dev was at work while the pornography was being viewed. The only one home at the time was the accuser.

    3.)The accuser stated that Mr. Dev caused 3 pregnancies and subsequent abortions. Medical records showed that she did not have three abortions–another lie. What the jury did not hear, was that in Nepali culture, is is typical and appropriate for the FATHER to take take a DAUGHTER to a clinic for this type of thing. Mr. Dev did not tell Mrs. Dev at the time because they were going through fertility treatment. They had a difficult time getting pregnant, and stress was a factor. He told her later, after the fertility treatment had been performed unsuccessfully.
    4.) The attacks outside the U.S.- Why would the Defense admit, or bring up a rape that had not been discussed before if he was trying to say nothing ever happened? Why would he jeopardize his own Defense? Again, what the jury is not privy to–each time she spoke to the police, or appeared in court (original interview with police, pretrial and trial), her story changed DRAMATICALLY. What the Defense did in this particular incident was to show the jury (but unfortunately they did not get it) was that her story continually changed. The Defense was demonstrating that her credibility was an issue when she suddenly “remembered” incidents that were never discussed previously and after someone suggested them.
    5.) The Defense language expert–Again, what the jury doesn’t know is that what was used in Ajay’s case was a “literal” tranlsation of the phone call. In court, a literal translation can only be used, no matter how awkward, which does not translate nuance or meaning. This is the sadest thing of all. What that means is that the Defense expert could only testify to the “literal” translating. So, what that means, in essence is let’s say you walk into a bar and order a screwdriver. The court translater would be obligated to say “he asked for a screwdriver.” In our country, we would know what that meant, but in another country they would take it literally and the meaning would be lost. Such is the case with the infamous, “You F*()^% me after 18 years of your age.” This to me is the sadest thing of all. Because Mr. Dev was convicted based on this pretext call. If you were to take the surrounding context of the call, and the nuance of the Nepali language, you would understand that Mr. Dev did not admit to having sexual relations with her after 18. The DA presented a version to the jury of the conversation that was so far from the truth, and unfortunately, was believed, even in light of the other evidence showing that there was doubt. The Defense didn’t believe that was an admission to the charges of rape and molestation, was limited to 3 hours in closing arguments, and felt he had other matters to cover, since, supposedly, he could not be convicted for rape and molestation, even if that line was misunderstood. Con’t another post.

  21. Very Sad

    6.) The case in Nepal. It is funny that the jurors keep bringing up that it was Dev’s relative. The truth is that the member who went to the police was more closely related to the victim and closer to her family. The so-called letters that the family wrote–another thing the jury did not get to see. The judge allowed the DA to take “parts” of the file and present them to the jury, over objection by the Defense. The Defense was not allowed to bring into trial the rest of the file, nor the Nepali court documents that would have shown and explained that Dev was not responsible. Additionally, another thing that did not get out in court. The DA told the jurors that Dev was thrown into jail previsously for threatening her and her family with a phone call. What they did not hear, was the fact that when the “so-called” tape was played at a court hearing, the victim’s father, calearlyand repeatedly said that Ajay did not do this. Dev was immediately released (by a different judge) upon hearing the “so’called evidence”. The DA and detective knew conclusively only 1 day after he was thrown into jail that he was not responsible, but the withheld the information from the the Defense and kept him in there for an additional 27 days.

    7.) Again, what the jury does not know. The Defense did ask the Judge to take action regarding the incident with the detective, but like so many things, the judge denied and refused to address the matter.

    This case is so sad, because it perfectly illustrates how most people believe our justice system is supposed to work, but few have a real understanding of what actually happens. It is interesting that in the five years of investigation done by the Defense (wanting to find out exactly what happened), not one thing found contradicted Mr. Dev’s version of what happened. Also, as soon as he found out about the charges, he volunteered and took a lie detector test. This is certainly not the conduct of someone who has anything to hide. I know Mr. Dev. He wears every emotion on his shirtsleeve. There is no way he could have hidden his feelings and “tricked” the lie detector test. This certainly is not the conduct of someone who has anything to hide. It is just so sad that his trial has ended this way–he has lost his life. We who were close to the accuser and the Defendant are not stupid, nor are we immoral. We do very much care about the well being of those who have been truly victimized. I know people will often think, “Oh, but that is just the family and friends.” They don’t know us. But, I can tell you this, if there was anything that was questionable in our minds, we would have testified for the prosecution. Not only were we present and saw first hand the life that they lived, but we also know much more about the case through the five years of investigation, going to all of the motions and pretrial, etc… than any juror or anyone else involved in the case. It is because of all the knowledge that we possess that we know Mr. Dev, unfortunately, has been convicted for crimes of which he is not guilty. I typically don’t read bloggs, nor do I comment–it sickens me to see what people say and how they think in their very limited scope of knowledge. I will not post or read anything more. I just wanted to let people know–those of you who actually have an open mind–that things are not always what they seem.

  22. Anon

    Rich Rifkin: “”An innocent man has been unjustly convicted of crimes he did not commit.”

    That says nothing about the District Attorney. It says, “I don’t think the jury was very smart.” You may be right. Perhaps an appeal will confirm your beliefs.”

    A DA has a higher duty than a regular attorney, to make sure that any defendent that is tried for a crime is being brought to trial on probable cause, any exculpable evidence is given to the defence (and there are some doubts as to whether Reisig does this from what I have read), etc. The DA has a good deal of latitude in deciding which cases are brought to trial, and so has a fiduciary duty to the people of the state to be judicious (pun intended) about what he decides to do.

    “I think that Rich Rifkin missed the point, I think the protesters are saying…
    1) “We don’t think anyone should be charged with a crime without physical evidence,””

    Have you ever heard of circumstantial evidence? It is used all the time!

  23. Anon

    “These Jurors were lead around like a bunch of sheep in convicting a man without a shroud of evidence against him. If they are so confident withe their decision, I wish they would be willing come out and respond to the community’s questions in a public forum. It would be seen in five minutes that how badly they got it wrong and how unjustly they took a life of an innocent man.”

    Why, so you can browbeat them?

  24. Tidbit

    It took the jurors approximately 2 hrs to convict Zielesch. How could they possibly have reviewed the evidence and found him guilty beyond a resonable doubt? Their minds were already made up. None of the jurors would speak to the defense attorney.

  25. Convinced

    I strongly believe that Ajay Dev did not have a chance for a fair trial. I’m also convinced that the surmountable amount of evidence from the defense more than satisfied “reasonable doubt”. In addition, the jury’s decision to convict Ajay was not only illogical but also careless. The protestors should receive the investigation they are seeking from the Department of Justice. Furthermore, all “cash for conviction” funding should be suspended until the outcome of the investigation. Thank you for sharing more of the facts with the public, “Very Sad”!

  26. Rich Rifkin

    COWARD writes: [i]”Rick Rifkin: You ask why are people upset with the District Attorney’s office. Here are few reasons:”[/i]

    It’s Rich, not Rick.

    [i]”1. The DA’s office did no investigation into this case.”[/i]

    How do you know that?

    [i]”They took the complainant’s word on everything.”[/i]

    Everything? Again, you don’t know that. Obviously they believed the accuser on the whole. That does not mean they believed everything she ever said. If she was an imperfect witness, that should not be held against the DA. Yet the pro-Dev camp wants to believe that the DA is at fault for things he did not do or need not have done.

    [i]”They never interviewed the defendant, friends or family.”[/i]

    It is not at all unusual for a prosecutor to not interview a criminal defendant. Most criminal defendant’s refuse to speak with prosecutors. They have 5th Amendment rights to that end.

    If anyone — the defendant, friends, family, etc. — could help the defense and had direct knowledge about the alleged crimes, then the defense attorney could call them to the stand. If he did not, then your blame should be on the defense attorney, not the prosecutor.

    It is entirely possible that the DA found no good reason to call them as witnesses. Perhaps they had the same

    [i]”The DA’s office didn’t even check the alleged crime scenes.”[/i]

    The DA’s office did not? So? Was there supposed to be exculpatory evidence there? And if there was, then the defense attorney could introduce it.

    [i]”The DA’s office knew almost 1½ years before the trial that the complaining witness had been convicted of passport fraud and had committed perjury as an adult. Knowing that their only witness had a history of perjury, they still never did any investigation and continued the case.”[/i]

    That does not suggest the DA acted improperly. It suggests that the accuser was an imperfect witness. Yet as I said above, even a prostitute has the right not to be raped. Ultimately, it seems, the DA believed in the accuser’s story, or most of it, and decided to move forward. If the jury’s verdict holds up and an appeals court does not believe the judge made any errors, then the DA’s judgment to side with the accuser will have proved correct.

    All you seem to be saying is that the DA should have concluded that Mr. Dev was innocent and that the accuser was lying. But he did not conclude that, took the case to trial, and to this point it looks like his judgment was correct and yours was not. If the verdict for whatever reason is overturned, then that will again be an open question.

    [i]”3. In 2006, the complaining witness made false accusations against Mr. Dev saying that he had threatened her father. These allegations were proved to be false. Knowing this the DA’s office still went forth with the case even though the complaining witness had a past record of making false claims. Still no investigation.”[/i]

    Again, all of this comes back to the same point: The accuser may have been imperfect, but the DA, the jury and the judge found on 76 counts she was still believable. You obviously feel she was not believable because (you allege) she had been dishonest in some other regard.

    But even if you are right, that is not a matter of prosecutorial malfeasance. It is a case of having different judgment about the accuser’s credibility.

    [i]”4.Mr. Dev had passed a lie detector test. Knowing this the DA’s still pushed the case forward without any investigation.”[/i]

    There is a good reason, apparently, why lie detectors are not considered admissible in court.

    [i]”5.Then because the DA’s office knew that the admission of the Nepal Court Documents as evidence would weaken their case, they fought to keep them out and won—even though all the requirements for admission were there.”[/i]

    Again, you are blaming the DA for the decision of the judge. If the judge had sided with the defense, then you might have a case against the DA. You don’t.

  27. Innocent

    You have people above again talking about things and speculating as to how or why he may have been guilty and justify to themselves of the grand blunder of analytical incompetency of incorrect decision of taking a man’s life. Focus on what the facts are, the facts presented by Outrages are accurate, go check the court records to confirm, they are public record now, listen to the Vanguard Radio Archive.

    The biggest fact here is that these people made a severely incorrect decision and they and no way in the world they will be able defend their analysis/evaluation of facts in the case to reach this horrible conclusion– it just won’t stand the test of simplest logic.

  28. Alphonso

    “Why isn’t the AG or Govenor looking into this yet?”

    The AG Office should audit the Superior Courts to make sure there is some state wide consistency – a review of procedures and practices. I bet Yolo would fail the audit.

  29. John Higgins Van Horn

    [quote]Have you ever heard of circumstantial evidence? It is used all the time! [/quote]

    Well, I am not an attorney, and I am not familiar with legal jargon. I was just trying to reiterate the protester’s message, the message that I think Rich missed or didn’t want to acknowledge. But thanks for your comment.

    The point is that you have a lot of people that are either friends or family of both the accuser and Ajay Dev, including myself. They (we) are “screaming at the top of their lungs” that he didn’t do it. I have known Ajay and the accuser very well for the entire time she lived with the Dev’s and I have spent enough time around both of them to say with an honest conscience that I never say anything that would support these accusations.
    Her actions were that of a loving child or a typical teenager.

    I don’t think that this support is something that you see regularly in cases, so many people standing behind the accused saying that we believe he is innocent and the charges don’t add up. Behind the scenes you always hear these arguments, but not not at this level, where people are willing to protest or actually work, as in this case. I think they are bringing up many legitimate points.

    I don’t know much about law and I wasn’t at the trial, but I have always heard about reasonable doubt. I think there was reasonable doubt in this circumstance, at least according to what I am reading on this blog and other blogs that I have read over the last few months. That is why I am responding to this blog and that is why you see protests and other people voicing their beliefs.

    The bottom line is this is it really doesn’t matter whether we think he is innocent or guilty, this is our justice system and we better stand up for what is just and we better stand up for what we believe in because one day we may be caught up in it and we need justice to be on or side, not something that is non existent because the DA has a financial interest in finding the accused guilty. Let justice prevail.

  30. shanti

    pleased SAYS:

    10/21/09 – 01:08 PM…
    Very sad says that “things are not always as they seem”… Could that be the exact issue with Ajay Dev? Perhaps, he was not at all as he seemed?

    YOU CONVICTED AJAY ON SUSPICION AND EMOTION, NOT FACTS, AND IT IS EVER SO EVIDENT FROM YOUR POST ABOVE. YOU SAY,”COULD THAT BE THE EXACT ISSUE WITH AJAY DEV? PERHAPS,…..” THE CASE IS NOT ABOUT PERHAPS! NOT ABOUT YOUR GUESSES AND ASSUMPTIONS. THERE WAS NO PROOF. EVEN WHEN YOU WERE LED TO THE DIRECTION OF WRONG PROOF BY THE DA, THE SENTENCE BEING YOU HAVE F#$KED AFTER THE AGE OF 18: IT EQUALS AFTER 18 IN PLAIN ENGLISH. LOGIC WAS NOT USED BY YOUR TEAM. HOW DOES THIS SENTENCE CONVICT SOMEONE OF RAPE AND MOLESTATION FOR PRE-18, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THAT THE ACCUSER IN HER OWN WRITING ON THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS, SIGNED AS HAVING SEX FOR THE FIRST TIME AS 18 IN HER OWN PRIVACY IN HER MEDICAL DOCUMENTS?
    LOOK, JUROR KNOWN AS PLEASED, THIS IS AT LEAST THE THIRD TIME YOU MENTION ABOUT THE ACCUSER NOT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT ATTACKS OUTSIDE THE US. Very Sad GAVE AN EXCELLENT ANSWER FOR IT ALREADY, BUT I DO WANT TO ADD THIS. IF THE ACCUSER CLAIMS RAPE THREE TIMES A WEEK, WHY WOULD SHE NOT MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT ATTACKS OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY? OH, SURE, MAYBE SHE COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT IT. WHEN IT IS NOT THE TRUTH, YOU WILL NOT REMEMBER IT! THE DEFENSE WAS TRYING TO SHOW YET ONE MORE LIE ABOUT HER. BUT YOU AND YOUR TEAM DID NOT GET IT.

  31. shanti

    Rich,
    you were in love with an Indian girl once in high school. You both were wonderful. Did you ever have a problem where the conversation was misunderstood because of cultural difference? I am so glad that you are not in Ajay’s shoes. The jury has spoken many times that ajay was convicted on the stand alone statement, which they must be questioning now if they believe that they were misled by the DA. i have read so many of your blogs regarding this case but to my knowledge not once you have brought up this issue of the pre-text. Maybe I expected a little bit from you regarding this. The jury members were in my opinion culturally deprived. Many of them did not even know where Nepal was. After all, you were very friendly with many foreign students and took interest in their culture and languages.

  32. shanti

    sorry Rich. I did not mean to reveal something that i saw was wonderful from your past. Maybe you were not in love with this Indian girl. But you surely were good friends.

  33. Innocent

    Thank you Shanti. As I mention above, I see pleased doing nothing more than trying to justify the Jury’s failure in their objectively look at all the facts of the case, perform reasonable person based logical analysis in reaching their conclusion.

    I agree that that the Jury’s job was not to determine what would and could have been, it was to evaluate/analyze the facts of the case to reach a conclusion. unfortunately, that is exactly what they seem to have done to reach a horrible decision and took Mr. Dev’s life. The danger in could, would and should analysis is that if a person has biases/prejudices on a particular topic/subject matter (i.e. female allegations of rape, porn, abuse, etc.), or race, sex, religion, color, creed, etc. (not suggesting this about Pleased in any way–simply making a point), their judgment can be easily flawed.

    That is exactly the reason I wish there could be a public forum where the community members are able to have dialog with the Jury members about how they reached their decision. I would guarantee that they could not defend their position in light of the court records now available to public.

    I have read many of Pleased’s blogs, it appears that Pleased is someone who makes up his/her mind once (right or wrong) and “stays the course”. That is exactly the type of trait one needs to make a severe error in judgment. It appears there were others on the panel with similar traits. This personality type tends to dominant in a group and tends to strong arm others who are/may be less assertive. I wonder if some of this type of dynamics were at play in this case.

  34. Pants On Fire

    Yes Virginia, people do tell lies and make things up that lands others in jail. here is something in CNN today for your interest. Does this sound familiar?

    (CNN) — A 22-year-old woman whose claims that she was abused in a trailer in rural West Virginia in 2007 helped send six people to prison now says [u]she made up the story[/u], her lawyer said Wednesday.

    “She is recanting her entire story,” attorney Byron Potts told reporters in Columbus, Ohio, about his client, Megan Williams, who moved there after the incident. “She says it did not happen. She fabricated it.”

    He added, [u]”She wanted to get back[/u] at her boyfriend. She was mad at him.”

  35. Pinochio with the long nose

    Sometimes DA’s do bad things too and sometimes they get caught. Remember the Duke case? Hmmmm, lying to the court. I am sure he isn’t the first DA to do such a despicable act.

    By Charles Montaldo, About.com

    Duke DA Ethics Trial Begins
    Tuesday June 12, 2007
    The Durham, North Carolina district attorney, who continued the prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players on rape charges in spite of a wealth of exculpatory evidence, will face ethics charges beginning today in a hearing before the state bar. Mike Nifong is accused of deliberately withholding evidence, lying to the court, and making inflammatory remarks about the case to the media.

    In April, all of the charges against the three Duke players were dropped by State Attorney General Roy Cooper, who said Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans were “innocent” victims of a rogue prosecutor’s “tragic rush to accuse.”

    In the early days of the investigation in interviews with the press, Nifong called the players “hooligans” and said he was facing a “blue wall of silence” of noncooperation from the lacrosse team, when in fact the team members were falling over themselves to cooperate with the police investigation.

    He continued to pursue the prosecution after it became apparent that the only evidence against the players were the unsubstantiated and contradictory statements of the accuser, who seemed to lose more credibility each week.

    Only after the North Carolina State Bar accused Nifong violating rules of professional conduct by making inflammatory comments, that Nifong decided to turn the case over to the state.

    More charges were later added to the complaint, including accusations that he withheld DNA evidence that exonerated the Duke players.

  36. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]you were in love with an Indian girl once in high school. You both were wonderful. [/quote]Yes, I did have a girlfriend who was Indian (on her father’s side, from a Muslim family). I’m tickled someone who is writing in anonymously* knows that. But it really does not have anything to do with my comments about the Dev case. I will repeat for maybe the fourth time: “I have no strong feelings one way or the other about Mr. Dev’s guilt or innocence.” All of my comments are directed at those who think fault here lies with the DA. I am unconvinced by that charge. [quote] The jury has spoken many times that ajay was convicted on the stand alone statement, which they must be questioning now if they believe that they were misled by the DA.[/quote] Obviously, if Dev is innocent, then they were misled. But it seems to me that is not evidence of corruption on the part of the DA (or jury), but rather a misreading of the evidence. In other words, it’s condemning the DA and the jury for being stupid, as opposed to being malicious. The DA (and the jurors likely) could believe they were right, but still may have been wrong.[quote] The jury members were in my opinion culturally deprived. Many of them did not even know where Nepal was**. [/quote] I don’t doubt that. And I don’t doubt that it’s possible in this case that the jury rendered an incorrect judgment. Likewise, it’s possible that the DA’s judgment (that Dev was guilty; and that the accuser was mostly credible) was wrong, too. However, if the DA mistakenly believed the wrong party, that does not equate with malfeasance; yet that is what Mr. Dev’s supporters apparently believe. I don’t get that.

    I’m also a little troubled by the loose bandying about of charges of racism against Reisig’s office. It sounds like the Dev supporters believe the DA brought these charges because they think he was motivated by racial animus (hence the Title 6 verbiage). That is a very serious charge; and if it’s not supported by actual facts, I think it is damaging to our larger society.

    *The post-name “Shanti” does not ring a bell. I’ll presume, though, we were classmates. Your recollection that I had numerous friends in high school who were born abroad, which was true (and is still true, fwiw), suggests that.

    **I don’t know why, but a very high percentage of Americans are completely ignorant about geography. They can’t find Iraq or Mexico or Canada on a map of the world ([url]http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/05/02/geog.test/[/url]).

  37. Adam Smith

    Of course, in the Duke case, evidence was presented that exonerated the defendants, and they were never convicted by a jury. That doesn’t seem to be true in the case at hand

  38. Alphonso

    “Of course, in the Duke case, evidence was presented that exonerated the defendants, and they were never convicted by a jury. “

    To be clear – it was not new evidence. It was the same evidence Nyfong had, but it was reviewed by people more interested in Justice. Misguided DA’s can do substantial damage, including convincing juries to convict people who should not be prosecuted.

  39. shanti

    to Pleased:
    you have asked many questions to us and have continued to stay with the course. I know it is very hard to admit when something may have gone wrong in your decision making, especially of this nature. I have a question for you and the rest of the jury. At very WORST, if you took the literal translation of the phrase without context, you MAY think that something happened after the age of 18. There was still no proof but lets assume that you found Ajay guilty of wrongdoing after the age of 18. Why don’t you give only one PROOF of any wrongdoing before the accuser was 18? Just one. That is all I ask. No assumptions, no maybe, no perhaps please. BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT PROOF PLEASE.
    We are humans and we make mistakes. As you saw on CNN, the girl who put 6 people behind bars is recanting her story. The accuser here may recant her story someday, who knows. We all believe that Ajay will be free someday. May God forgive you then for taking someone’s life away. Nobody has threatened you and nobody ever will. We come from a family of dignity and respect. Don’t be scared to round up your fellow jurors and provide more insight by having a public forum. Many people are lost with horrible decision making by the jurors.

  40. Outrages

    Mr. Rifikin, I find your arguments involving the People v. Dev inconsequential, disingenuous an inordinately misconstrued.

    Sir, for the record, you lack the proper foundation to employ any reasonable argument in support of the D.A given the fact that you have failed to effectively establish that you have in your possession any direct, empirical knowledge of the Dev case. Including but not limited to the following issues:

    1. Testimony proffered by defense witnesses in court under oath.

    2. False + contradictory testimony (lies) proffered in court under oath by the accuser.

    3. The D.A.’s concerted + repeated misrepresentations + distortions of FACTS produced in court by the defense.

    4. The D.A.’s inability to provide forensic corroboration that the accuser was in point-of-fact ever sexually molested.

    5. The D.A.’s subornation of perjury when he permitted the accuser to lie under oath during direct examination, regarding matters that were demonstrated through discovery that the accuser was lying about core + fundamental details of the case.

    6. The D.A.’s refusal to forensically test the credibility of the accuser’s allegations.

    Regrettably, you have the disadvantage (luxury?) of not knowing what the Dev family and its supporters know with unequivocal certainty predicated on first-hand, direct knowledge: An innocent man was falsely convicted of crimes he did not commit.

    One additional point, Mr. Rifikin. I invite you to do some independent research regarding a program entitled Violence Against Women Vertical Prosecution Program in Yolo County. Pursuant to your investigation, you may wish to modify your opinion of the D.A.’s prosecutorial motivation + conduct with regrads to sex crimes.

  41. Pain

    If I move past the pain of the Jury’s decision over the fate of Ajay Dev,

    I want to do nothing more than plea to these people to go over this case with the Advocates for Ajay team in reviewing all the facts that are part of the evidence package–that jury had available to them–now public records. I want them to see how badly they got it wrong. I can grantee if they get the full picture, they would not be happy with what they have done and will do everything to undo the wrong.

  42. Outrages

    Mr. Rifkin, for your edification, on at least two separate occasions, specifically in his closing argument the D.A. emphatically informed the jury that the accused at no time ever denied having sexual congress with the accused…consensual or otherwise.

    However, a careful review of the pretext call (both written + auditory documentation) unequivocally confirms that a total of 57 direct + indirect denials were issued by the accused, regarding this heinous accusation.

    Consequently, an objective assessment of the D.A.’s misconduct and misrepresentation on this particular matter can only be attributed (according to the D.A.) to the identical affliction suffered by the accuser…a poor memory, or a conspicuous index that the D.A.’s fidelity to facts + truth in a court of law are perfectly + preferably expendable, in favor of obtaining a myriad of baseless conviction[s] devoid of forensic, corroborated evidence.

  43. quit crying

    The majority of you think some great injustice has been done. C’mon Dev supporters and even a Zielisch supporter what a joke. Zielisch has been a criminal his whole life. Truly a scumbag and he is where he is supposed to be. Dev supporter you keep whinning that the jury got it all wrong. Shame on you or better yet maybe you should have been his defense team. Rapist pure and simple good riddance.

  44. Pain

    Quit Crying, As stated above, the all the facts/evidence of the case that was made avail to the jury is now public record. If you had a chance to go over it and analyzed it with anything more than a fifth grade level wit, your comments would be just the opposite. What are you afraid of, finding out that that people made a mistake and wrongfully took a man’s life? There are no secrets, all the facts of the case now a public record. If you can’t figure out on your own, Advocates for Ajay would be happy to walk you through the entire thing step by step. Once you absorb. all the facts and maneuverings to get a guilty verdict, you would be CRYING for sure. Don’t be shamefully proud of a wrong and defend it by simply staying the course because it convenient and in line with your line of preconceived notions. That would be terrible shame.

    If you can move past this, you are more than welcome to join now over three hundred people (family, friends, Davis and Sacramento county community members) fighting this injustice (Google Advocates for Ajay). Help undo a wrong by doing right. Help spread the truth.

  45. Reality Check

    Thats right “pain”! Look into the Zielesch case as well! I never knew Zielesch but I have seen that he had no involvement with the murder. He probably was guilty of the other charges, and by this time, he would be being released, hopefully rehabilitated and having served the appropriate sentence for his crimes, now would be a man monitored by parole agents. Due to the D.A.’s crooked practices, he still has 97 years to go unless someone looks into Reisig’s past crimes against Yolo County citizens.How fair is that? And ‘quit crying’ i hope it’s you or your family member… maybe your dad or your son who is next on Reisig’s hit list. Then you will see and maybe pay attention to the stage performance Reisig is pulling off on us citizens

  46. Alphonso

    “Due to the D.A.’s crooked practices, he still has 97 years to go unless someone looks into Reisig’s past crimes against Yolo County citizens.”

    This goes past the DA’s office to the Yolo Judges. There is no way Zielesch got a fair trial. The trials of the two defendents should have been held separately. The Yolo Court System I see is one step beyond the Wild West- the old strimg em up mentality. The primary defendant (Volarvich) appeared to be guilty and everyone was focused on Revenge rather than Justice. Volarvich probably got what he deserved but Zielesch was also caught in the same storm of vengence. Judge Mock turned his back on Justice when he failed to separate the two cases.

  47. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]One additional point, Mr. Rifikin. I invite you to do some independent research regarding a program entitled Violence Against Women Vertical Prosecution Program in Yolo County. [/quote]I won’t promise you that I will do this investigation. (Keep in mind that my “work” as a columnist is not my job. It’s more avocation than vocation.) However, I promise you that I will keep an open mind into the possibility that the DA erred in the Dev case (and perhaps in other cases). And by keeping an open mind, I might, if I have the time, delve further into this question than I have heretofor.

  48. Pain

    Clear and simple, what you are dealing with is a liar and a sociopath who just need to carry out a vendetta and will someday recant her story. She used this system and made a fool out of 12 people jury. Nothing to be proud of being a fool.

  49. wheres the vegeterian beef?

    Hey, I have an idea, may be we all could get a magnifying glass and a fine tooth comb and go over the entire court records to see if we can find a shroud of evidence that would lead us to convict this man and we place that evidence, analysis and our conclusions on a public website.

    We could title the website “The Wall of Shame”. We could split the web page in two, on the left side, a list of attributable findings of “wrong by Ajay. Dev”, and on right the the “wrongs by the system”.

    I will guarantee that you will not get a single item on the list worthy of guilt verdict on the left side of list against Ajay Dev.

  50. wheres the vegeterian beef?

    A place for people to start and join are:. Yes the jurors of the case are welcome to join to find out the truth and help undo the wrong.

    1. Davis vanguard blog

    2. Advocates for Ajay -http://www.advocatesforajay.com/

    3. Vanguard radio show archive-Ajay Dev Case I and II.-https://www.davisvanguard.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=45&Itemid=72

    4. Justice Reform Coalition:
    http://www.justicereformcoalition.org

  51. Dharma and Karma

    Dharma means right conduct; to follow the path of dharma is to follow the inner dictates of the Soul and fulfill the will of God.

    “It means the inner code of life; moral, religious and spiritual law; living faith in God’s existence and in one’s own existence; soulful duty, especially enjoined by the scriptures; devoted observances of any caste or sect; willingness to abide by the dictates of one’s soul. “

    I am asking wrong to be done right, I am asking that Dharma prevail, I wish people’s Karma(actions) would be in support of their Dharma.

  52. Dharma and Karma

    M.O. Lawton, this was not intended to insult Buddhist teachings. The concept I borrowed here is out Hindu scriptures of Gita. I do realize that Budhist teachings takes a slight different path to explain the concept and I very well respect that as well– I don’t disagree that whether or not we have God as part of the picture, from a spiritual perspective, the concept of Dharma through good and right Karma in my opinion are the same. My intent is to plea to undo the wrong.

  53. Dharma and Karma

    Sorry, left a couple of words out of the last sentence.
    M.O. Lawton, this was not intended to insult Buddhist teachings. The concept I borrowed here is out Hindu scriptures of Gita. I do realize that Budhist teachings takes a slight different path to explain the concept and I very well respect that as well– I don’t disagree that whether or not we have God as part of the picture, from a spiritual perspective, the concept of Dharma through good and right Karma in my opinion are the same. My intent is to plea to the members of jury in this case is to undo the wrong through right Dharma and Karma.

  54. M. P. Lawton

    Dharma karma I appreciate the clarification. I feel the need to say however that there is far too much god talk on this thread. It has never been proven that a god exists. It would be best not to summon this archaic simplistic concept in any attempt to gather support for any cause whatsoever. I have been reading of Mr. Dev’s plight and am in sympathy with your cause. I am just not sure that god will help especially considering the sorry state of 96% of the world, apparently under god’s watch.

  55. Worried about living in Yolo County

    So what is the next step we as citizens can do to turn the wrongs into rights for Zeilesch and all cases since his that obviously were mis handled by our wonderful D.A.’s power trip?
    Any suggestions? Any scheduled protests coming up we should all know about?

  56. Sought by Diogenes

    I am close to someone whom I believe was maliciously and vindictively prosecuted by Jan Scully and her goon squad and this person was acquitted by a jury. Hence, I’d say that the folks with the JRC know what they are talking about. Now for some scary news: the word out of the Repugnican camp is that Mizz Scully is among their top three potential candidates for California’s next AG.

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