Defense Moves to Disqualify Judge Mock in Sentencing Phase of Davis Rape Case

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Yolo-Count-Court-Room-600It has been more than a month since Davis resident Michael Artz was acquitted of the most serious charge he had faced, stemming from a couple incidents that occurred in high school in which he was alleged to have forced a younger classmate to orally copulate him.  A Yolo County jury acquitted him of that charge, but found him guilty of two lesser charges, having sexual contact with a minor and discussing with the minor his intentions to have future sexual contact.

The case was notable, not only for the acquittal, but for the misleading press release sent out by the DA’s Office that seemed to imply his guilt, both of the main charge as well as of charges that were not even filed against him.

Sentencing is set for Friday at 9 am in Judge Stephen Mock’s courtroom, but like most things in this case, what should have been fairly routine has turned into yet another curve ball.

Defense Attorney Kathryn Druliner has learned what many of us have known for some time, that Judge Mock has an inherent conflict of interest in that he is married to Ann Hurd, who recently retired as Chief Deputy District Attorney, but remains active still in the office and on a few cases.

Having learned of this after the trial, Ms. Druliner is seeking to disqualify Judge Mock based on section 170.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

According to a motion filed earlier this week, “Subdivision 170.1 (a) (4) provides for disqualification if ‘[t]he judge, or the spouse of a judge…is a party to the proceeding or an officer, director, or trustee of a party.’  In addition, subdivision 170.1 (a)(6) (A) (iii) provides for disqualification if ‘[a] person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.””

She argues, “As the Chief Deputy District Attorney of the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, Judge Mock’s wife  may not technically qualify under subdivision (a)(4), as an officer, director, or trustee of a party.  However, her position is analogous to those positions and in this instance the District Attorney’s Office is the alter ego of a party, the People of the State of California.”

However, she argues further that the grounds for disqualification “are even more compelling on the facts of the instant case.”

“There are few relationships between human beings that are more personal and close than that of husband and wife.  A husband and wife typically conduct their affairs as a partnership and it is difficult to imagine that they would not share views, opinions and confidences regarding their professional activities and work situations,” she maintains.

This is certainly far from the first time this issue has arisen in Yolo County.  Way back in November 2006, we had an article “Appearance of a Conflict of Interest” in which we discussed such conflict between then-presiding Judge Stephen Mock and his wife Ann Hurd, the Chief Deputy District Attorney.

This became an issue in the murder trial involving the killing of CHP Officer Andy Stevens in 2005.

At that time, the Sacramento Bee reported, “An out-of-county judge, specially appointed to hear the controversy, has already decided in favor of Mock. That judge ruled that, though it was a “close call,” Mock can remain impartial.”

At that time, defense attorneys argued that a judge can be disqualified “if the judge or spouse of the judge is a party to the proceeding… It is presumed that Judge Mock’s spouse would participate in making policy decisions of the prosecutor’s office handling this case, and some observers may reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge will be able remain impartial throughout the course that this case may take,” the motion stated.

Judge Mock contended that District Attorney David Henderson–his wife’s boss–had exclusively handled this case, and therefore she was not a decision-maker or direct party to the case.    He wrote, “I can say with certainty that my wife has never handled this matter, and that she has not – indeed she cannot – supervise Mr. Henderson inasmuch as she is in a subordinate position to him.”

The bigger question in such matters has always been the appearance of a conflict of interest.  This led defense attorneys in that case, Fred Dawson and Clyde M. Blackmon, to argue, “An appearance of impropriety is created by the close nature of the marriage relationship.”

“A husband and wife are also perceived to share confidences regarding their personal lives and employment situations,” the lawyers wrote.

It seems unlikely that courts will rule differently, in the sentencing portion of this case, than they ultimately ruled four years ago, despite the fact that the marriage between Judge Mock and Ann Hurd of the DA’s Office symbolizes the apparent close-knit relationship between the supposedly-impartial bench in Yolo County and the office of the prosecutors.

However, one factor in this case that was not present in previous cases may be Judge Mock’s own conduct.

As we reported, during the prosecution’s rebuttal closing statement, Ms. Druliner made a particular objection that was overruled.  When she made the objection again, Judge Mock shouted that he had already ruled on that topic.

At this point Ms. Druliner said that she wanted to put the objection on the record.  This is a common tactic that may be needed to assist in a possible appeal, should there be the need.

Judge Mock responded, shouting that she can put it on the record after the closing statement is done and the jury has been sent away to deliberate.

When Ms. Druliner put the matter on the record she said, “What I’m going to say is probably going to make the court yell at me again.”  She said that during the course of the trial, the court has yelled at her “repeatedly, repeatedly.”  She said that twice for emphasis.

Ms Druliner added, “Never in 20 years of practice have I been treated that way.”

“A toxic courtroom is of major concern to the appeals courts,” she said, pointing out that they take it seriously when judges target attorneys for harsh treatment.  She said that although the transcript says “overruled” or “sustained,” the tone of the judge is not reflected there, and the reader does not know that these words were shouted out in the courtroom in full presence of the jury.

Ms Druliner said that yes, it is the prosecutor’s job to state objections. However, she said that on the topic of hearsay, in which her line of questioning was mostly blocked by the judge, she was not allowed to explain which of the 57 hearsay objection exceptions might apply to her question. Similarly, she found her objections to the prosecution’s line of questioning to be repeatedly overruled. She said that she wanted to note in particular that the judge denied her requests to approach the bench on the various topics. She added that it was the judge’s job to hear the reason before deciding about an objection.

Judge Mock acknowledged at this point that, “yes, I did raise my voice.”  He said that in those instances he believed that her objections were not made in good faith, or that she was repeating her comments on subjects that he had already decided upon.

Judge Mock stated that the appeals courts will do their job and examine what they examine. He said that despite his yelling, the jury has been instructed to disregard any and all of that.

Ms. Druliner replied that, though the jury may very well have been so instructed, juries always believe that “the judge is the smartest lawyer in the courtroom” and that if he is displeased that there must be a good reason for it, and that his yelling at her will sit heavily and prominently in their minds.

DA Pushes For Prison Over Probation

Meanwhile, Deputy DA Tiffany Susz has filed a sentencing brief, that is pushing for the court to deny probation and impose state prison time, continuing to argue as though Mr. Artz were convicted of forced oral copulation.

Ms. Susz argues in her brief, “While the jury acquitted defendant of the oral copulation by force or duress, the court may still consider those facts in evaluating the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of this crime as compared to other instances of the same crime. In this evaluation, the court may consider conduct for which defendant has been acquitted, so long as that conduct has been proved by a preponderance of evidence.”

She argues, “While defendant was eighteen years old, and [the accuser] was sixteen years old when this crime occurred, this is not [just] a “statutory rape”-type case.”

“To the contrary,” Ms. Susz claimed, “[the accuser] testified at trial she did not want to engage in any type of sexual conduct with defendant, and she further testified she certainly did not want to orally copulate the defendant.”

Ms. Susz cites a case that argues, “the court may consider charges defendant was acquitted of if the court finds that there is any reliable information that can be gleaned from it.”

Thus it would appear that the prosecution is looking to sentence Mr. Artz based on evidence for which the jury acquitted him on.  The prosecution argues, “the facts of this case do not support a conclusion that the oral copulation that occurred between [the accuser] and defendant in August 2008 was consensual.”

However, Ms. Susz seems to conveniently ignore the fact that the jury did not find the accuser’s testimony particularly credible.  There were inconsistencies both in her story and in her reaction to the incident.

A juror, in fact, wrote on the Vanguard shortly after the verdict, “Not for one minute did I think he forced her.”

That is a very different account than what DDA Susz gives.  The juror actually both reported to us after the incident and on the Vanguard that they [the jury] did not want to convict Mr. Artz of any charges, but believed [they were] compelled to by the letter of the law.  The juror was also unhappy that Mr. Artz was charged with sexual contact with a minor, but the accuser’s girlfriend was not.

“She was dating a girl that was 6 months older then Michael and THAT was OK! Makes me sick!,” the juror wrote.

The juror later pointed out, “The girlfriend was 6 months older then Michael!! And it was made clear that the girls spent many weekends together! But she wasn’t charged!”

So to argue that even the preponderance of the evidence would validate the accuser’s claims is a misstatement of the findings by the triers of fact, the jury.

However, Ms. Susz attempts to muck up the water by bringing into the equation, apparently, the defendant’s sexual appetite and his consumption of and type of porn.

The problem with all of this is that none of that is criminal in nature, and Mr. Artz was basically convicted only for receiving oral copulation from the accuser and having a conversation in which he attempted to receive more oral copulation.

Any prison time for these offenses would not only be a miscarriage of justice, but would also represent a waste of taxpayer money at a time of fiscal crisis in this state.

—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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28 thoughts on “Defense Moves to Disqualify Judge Mock in Sentencing Phase of Davis Rape Case”

  1. E Roberts Musser

    There is so much I want to comment on in this article, it is hard to know even where to begin. And it is going to be hard not to be sarcastic, bc this entire article makes me infuriated. So hear goes, and I’ll try and keep it as tactful as possible:

    1) dmg: “She argues, “As the Chief Deputy District Attorney of the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, Judge Mock’s wife may not technically qualify under subdivision (a)(4), as an officer, director, or trustee of a party. However, her position is analogous to those positions and in this instance the District Attorney’s Office is the alter ego of a party, the People of the State of California.”

    So Druliner is admitting that subdivision (a)(4) doesn’t really apply, but she is going to go ahead and claim it anyway?

    2) dmg: “When Ms. Druliner put the matter on the record she said, “What I’m going to say is probably going to make the court yell at me again.” She said that during the course of the trial, the court has yelled at her “repeatedly, repeatedly.” She said that twice for emphasis. Ms Druliner added, “Never in 20 years of practice have I been treated that way.” “A toxic courtroom is of major concern to the appeals courts,” she said, pointing out that they take it seriously when judges target attorneys for harsh treatment.”

    A toxic courtroom can also be created by a defense attorney who makes charges that are not based in good faith, is not cooperative with the judge, does not comport his/her behaviour with proper courtroom decorum, etc. I was not in the courtroom, so I make no judgments here, but certainly based on comments by Ms. Druliner in a previous post on this blog, I can possibly understand the judge’s impatience with defense counsel at trial. As the old adage goes “you get more with honey that with vinegar”. Part of the role of any defense attorney is to “educate” the judge, and he will not be very “receptive” if one comes at him like a pit bull. Having said that, a defense attorney must advocate on behalf of their client zealously, so I understand it can sometimes be a very tricky balancing act.

    I had a family law attorney in my divorce case who very wisely “spoke softly but carried a big stick”. He never raised his voice to the judge, was always respectful. He got more out of hostile witnesses just with his understated questioning. After successfully representing me in my divorce case (I ended up with 92% of the assets and my ex was found guilty of adultery), he later went on to successfully represent John Bobbit in his criminal trial. The softer approach often works far better than being caustic or ascerbic.

    3)dmg: “Ms. Druliner replied that, though the jury may very well have been so instructed, juries always believe that “the judge is the smartest lawyer in the courtroom” and that if he is displeased that there must be a good reason for it, and that his yelling at her will sit heavily and prominently in their minds.”

    Juries can also take a dislike to a defendant bc thier defense attorney is overly combative and disrespectful to the judge. We haven’t heard the judge’s side here, nor the DA’s.

  2. E Roberts Musser

    4)dmg: “The juror actually both reported to us after the incident and on the Vanguard that they [the jury] did not want to convict Mr. Artz of any charges, but believed [they were] compelled to by the letter of the law. The juror was also unhappy that Mr. Artz was charged for sexual contact with a minor, but the accuser’s girlfriend was not.”

    How many jurors did you speak with? Did all the jurors feel this way, or are you just taking the word of the one juror you interviewed as to how “all” the jury felt? Not clear on this point…

    5)dmg: “Ms. Susz argues in her brief, “While the jury acquitted defendant of the oral copulation by force or duress, the court may still consider those facts in evaluating the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of this crime as compared to other instances of the same crime. In this evaluation, the court may consider conduct for which defendant has been acquitted, so long as that conduct has been proved by a preponderance of evidence.”

    I’m assuming Ms. Susz is correctly stating the law. If she is, she is making the strongest possible argument for her side. It is up to the judge to decide whether he agrees with her argument. From where I sit, Susz was merely doing her job – zealously advocating for the people. That is what DA’s are supposed to do. Whether there is a preponderonce of the evidence on the acquitted charge is up to the judge to decide – the jury did not rule as to whether they found a preponderance of the evidence or not on the acquitted charge. All they ruled is there was not guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    6)dmg: “However, Ms. Susz attempts to muck up the water by bringing in, apparently, the defendant’s sexual appetite and his consumption and form of porn into the equation. The problem with all of this is that none of that is criminal in nature, and Mr. Artz was basically convicted only for receiving oral copulation from the accuser and having a conversation in which he attempted to receive more oral copulation. Any prison time for these offenses would not only be a miscarriage of justice, but would also represent a waste of taxpayer money at a time of fiscal crisis in this state.”

    Here, we have an 18 year old having sex with a minor. He also had a conversation with the minor making pretty clear he was going to do awful things if she didn’t have more sex with him. The “conversation” you refer to was not benign. It was threatening. IMHO, that should be taken into account in sentencing.

    I think what we have here is a philosophical difference. Some see this teen as just another randy 18 year old doing what randy 18 year olds do. “Boys will be boys”. Some, like me, tend to think such behavior needs to be kept in check, bc it can lead to forcible rape. Usually rapists work up to their ultimate crime. Furthermore, I see this as typical “frat boy mentality” (sorry to fraternities, this is a term we used in my day which is probably a misnomer) that gets us things like the Tailhook Scandal. The idea is if the spider can talk the victim into entering his “web”, she is considered fair game. Luring girls, and then making them feel they asked for it, is an age old scenario carried out by many unscrupulous males that should not be acceptable.

    I’m not sure what sentence I would give this kid. I’d have to judge how contrite he was, hear all the facts and background, and decide if I thought he was a menace to society. My one concern is that putting him in prison might make him worse, not better. But I also would be concerned that the next time he does something like he did do, it would be far more severe than this one. I would say the defendant in this case is no prince, and needs to be punished enough to send the message home his behavior is unacceptable.

  3. Iyah

    I can’t believe that after being acquitted, someone can still be sentenced according to a crime that they were acquitted of. This is ridiculous. This goes against all common sense.

  4. kathryndruliner

    Iyah: you are correct and ERM is incorrect as is Susz. The judge can only consider facts not proven or admitted by a defendant in sentencing if the defendant enters what is known as a “Harvey Waiver”. Mr. Artz did not do that here. I will not respond to ERM’s comments as she admits she was not there and does not practice criminal law. I think I have made the point that she is not the expert.

  5. kathryndruliner

    Another interesting point that has not come out but is in the probation report is that the alleged victim here was contacted by the probation department and did not wish to make a statement. She also testified at the trial she wanted to remain friends with Mr. Artz. Is this the conduct of someone who was raped?

    Or someone used by the DA to increase their funds?

  6. Ryan Kelly

    Again, Elaine gets it all wrong.

    This is a case where two high school students engaged in sexual activity. The boy just happened to have turned 18 years old. He was a senior in High School, she was a Junior. She has misgivings because she was in an intimate relationship with another girl (who was also 18 years old.) At the most, this should have been a misdemeanor statutory rape due to the closeness of their ages. The girlfriend should have also been charged.

    I do not understand why the prosecution continues to push and wants this young man to go to prison, even though the jury determined that the sexual activity was consensual. The young man is not a threat to public safety.

    I support anything that his lawyer does to minimize penalties here.

  7. PatLenzi

    I would like to know the authority the DA cited for using the facts of the charge for which he was acquitted as a sentencing factor.

    In addition, I believe that it was the practice of DA Reisig when first in office to require that all plea bargain settlements go before his Chief Deputy (Ann Hurd) for her personal evaluation and approval prior to permitting resolution of the case. If that is not the case, why would there recently have been some action against a DDA who did NOT get permission to settle a case?

    If Ann was evaluating cases and giving her personal stamp of approval, then she is directly involved and Ms. Druliner’s argument is even stronger. Of course, as a supervising attorney prior to that promotion to chief deputy, she had authority and a duty to discuss cases with the attorneys she supervised. Ms. Druliner could be correct – it is likely that Judge Mock knows his wife had the authority and duty to review and approve any plea bargains. Therefore, if he felt a case should be plea bargained, he had to send DDAs back to his wife to get her permission to do what he thought, as a judge, was appropriate.

    What is very different in Yolo County, compared to soon to be Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, is the notice, or lack thereof, that the JUDGE gives to parties appearing before the court. Justice Cantil-Sakauye had a framed statement in her court chambers when she was a superior court judge that stated something to the effect of “I am married to a police lieutenant with the Sacramento Police Department.” Cases are routinely discussed in chambers before going out to the courtroom to have the case heard on the record. Judge Mock has no such notice in his chambers. An attorney from out of county, as Ms. Druliner is, may not know what everyone local knows – that Judge Mock and Ann Hurd are married. Even so, it is the duty of the judge to make sure there is no appearance of bias.
    “CANON 3
    A JUDGE SHALL PERFORM THE DUTIES OF JUDICIAL
    OFFICE IMPARTIALLY AND DILIGENTLY
    (C)(1) A judge shall diligently discharge the judge’s administrative
    responsibilities impartially, on the basis of merit, without bias or prejudice, free of conflict of interest, and in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary….
    E
    E. Disqualification
    (1) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which disqualification is required by law.
    (2) In all trial court proceedings, a judge shall disclose on the record information that is reasonably relevant to the question of disqualification under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.1, even if the judge believes there is no actual basis for disqualification.”

    As for whether this 170.1 motion was properly filed under 170.1(a)(4) or could have been filed under 170.1(a)(5), or some other section, that is up to counsel to determine which is her strongest argument. Mr. Musser, under your evaluation, no DA’s office could ever be considered ‘a party to the action.’ The DA’s office represents a party and files as that party – “the People of the State of California.” However, the language of the statute does not include public practice attorneys as you can see by reading the section – often private practice is singled out as a situation where judges’ and attorneys’ relationships are identified as a conflict. I think the legislative history of 170.1 has to be looked at to determine whether a judge’s relationship with anyone in a DA’s office is in some special category and excluded from ever posing a conflict.

  8. E Roberts Musser

    To Pat Lenzi: Thanks for your thoughtful and very helpful discussion. One point you have made resonates with me, and that is: “In addition, I believe that it was the practice of DA Reisig when first in office to require that all plea bargain settlements go before his Chief Deputy (Ann Hurd) for her personal evaluation and approval prior to permitting resolution of the case. If that is not the case, why would there recently have been some action against a DDA who did NOT get permission to settle a case?” If that is what is going on, I see a BIG PROBLEM. Wouldn’t it be easy enough to find out if this is what IS occurring? I am assuming Ms. Druliner will do that as part of her appeal?

    Another thing you said also troubles me, and I wondered about bc I said “if”: “I would like to know the authority the DA cited for using the facts of the charge for which he was acquitted as a sentencing factor.” Again, I am assuming Ms. Druliner will force the DA to site the legal authority in her appeal. Very, very interesting issue. As I have said many times, I don’t practice much criminal law, so this sort of discussion is of great educational value.

  9. E Roberts Musser

    Pat Lenzi: “I think the legislative history of 170.1 has to be looked at to determine whether a judge’s relationship with anyone in a DA’s office is in some special category and excluded from ever posing a conflict.”

    I agree that it would be helpful to look at legislative intent behind 170.1. Often legislators cannot think up every scenario, and then one comes along that doesn’t quite fit. At that point, it is helpful to return to the purpose of the original statute for guidance. Again, I assume Ms. Druliner would bring all this up in her appeal if it applies…

  10. E Roberts Musser

    kathryndruliner: “Iyah: you are correct and ERM is incorrect as is Susz. The judge can only consider facts not proven or admitted by a defendant in sentencing if the defendant enters what is known as a “Harvey Waiver”. Mr. Artz did not do that here. I will not respond to ERM’s comments as she admits she was not there and does not practice criminal law. I think I have made the point that she is not the expert.”

    Notice what I said: “I’m assuming Ms. Susz is correctly stating the law. If she is…” Notice the word “IF SHE IS”. I worded my response very carefully. I said I have practiced a tiny bit of criminal law, but I have duly noted it is not my area of expertise. Nor did I ever claim to be an “expert” in anything. You may feel free “not to respond” to any comment that I make, which is your right 🙂

    Ryan Kelly: “I do not understand why the prosecution continues to push and wants this young man to go to prison, even though the jury determined that the sexual activity was consensual. The young man is not a threat to public safety.”

    It’s the business about the defendant’s part of the conversation afterward that bothers me…

    And in so far as I know, a minor cannot “consent” to having sex. Any criminal lawyers want to enlighten me on this one if I am wrong?

  11. Iyah

    I think everyone can agree their is legal consent and normal consent. Yes, legally someone under 18 cannot give consent. However, there is a huge difference between being forced to do something and doing it because you want to and happen to be a minor. Hence, statutory rape – rape by statute (illegal for you to have sex because of being too young), not by force. There are all different types of statutory rape penal code violations, depending on the ages of the people involved. As I understand it, the one criteria for statutory rape is that it is voluntary with consent (however due to being a minor not legal consent).

  12. Roger Rabbit

    [quote]And in so far as I know, a minor cannot “consent” to having sex. Any criminal lawyers want to enlighten me on this one if I am wrong? [/quote]

    Another one of those laws that are selectively enforced. Minors are having sex all the time. According to people in the DA’s office, a DA investigator took a 13 year old child, not her child, to planned parenthood to get the minor on the pill. How is that not a crime? The parents of the child was not notified. Minors are routinely issued the pill by the Government and no crime. Depending on whose opinion you ask, sometime minors having sex is prosecuted and most times it is not. So who decides and how can this be a fair and just law.

    Like many policies under DA Reisig, laws are there for his pleasure, he gets to decide when to enforce and when to look the other way. So if it is for money, campaign contributions, favors, vendettas, friendships, employees, no one seems to care and no one every gets to know why?

    Another little fact many people may not know, sex in prisons are not allowed, yet our tax dollars buy condoms for all state prisons and these condoms are given out to prisoners by the prison free… That is like saying you can’t drink beer in prison but then handing out free beer…???

  13. Superfluous Man

    Pat and ERM,

    I don’t know the exact timeline of this case (ie when charged and so forth), but according to this document (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/18969876/Yolo-County-District-Attorney-Salary-Information) Ann Hurd was terminated (see: “retired”) 8/2009, then listed as the Chief Dep. DA and rehired on 9/2009 as a DDA IV.

    Her position has remained vacant since her “retirement” and I assume that some of her responsibilities, such as charging/plea agreements, have fallen to Chief Asst. DDA Mount. I base this assumption on simple chain of command and the fact that the other Chief Asst. DDA, Jonathan Raven, oversees administrative matters while Mount handles criminal matters, on that level.

    Don’t know if that helps, but thought I’d put it out there.

  14. Superfluous Man

    Rabbit,

    “According to people in the DA’s office, a DA investigator took a 13 year old child, not her child, to planned parenthood to get the minor on the pill. How is that not a crime?”

    Do children need consent to get the morning after pill/birth control, nope? Is it a crime to give a child a ride to and from a clinic (Planned Parenthood or otherwise), nope? Was the child forced or coerced to go to the clinic and request contraceptive medication, because that’s a serious allegation?

    You give absolutely no context, resulting in what amounts to conjecture. What’s more, there’s nothing criminal with regard to the information you’ve provided.

    “Like many policies under DA Reisig, laws are there for his pleasure, he gets to decide when to enforce and when to look the other way.”

    Well, that’s called discretion, which is something afforded to prosecutors, law enforcement, etc. You may not like it, I may not like it, but it is what it is.

    “Another little fact many people may not know, sex in prisons are not allowed, yet our tax dollars buy condoms for all state prisons and these condoms are given out to prisoners by the prison free…”

    What’s your point here? The costs? There are punishments at prisons for engaging in sexual behavior with another inmate. However, prison administrators and CO’s know that such acts will take place, condoms or no condoms and no matter how big the proverbial stick may be. Thus, they hand out the condoms for prisoner protection, which in turn will saves money in the long run, because they don’t have to treat as many prisoners with sexually transmitted diseases and more importantly (and costly) HIV/AIDS.

    What costs more: condoms or treatment for HIV/AIDS patients?

  15. David M. Greenwald

    [quote]Another one of those laws that are selectively enforced. Minors are having sex all the time. [/quote]

    Roger makes a good point here though because in this case, the accuser had relations, likely sexual with two adults, only one of whom was charged.

  16. Superfluous Man

    David,

    “Roger makes a good point here though because in this case, the accuser had relations, likely sexual with two adults, only one of whom was charged.”

    Yes, that is an interesting fact. This was all known by the detective/investigator and the prosecutor, right?

  17. kathryndruliner

    Superfluous man: You have again hit the nail on the head. The prosecution knew about Maggie, the woman 6 mos. older than Michael, more than a year before the defense did and not only kept it a secret (a Brady violation which is a U.S. Constitutional violation of the highest magnitude) but the DDA Susz told the court in chambers (although the witness “oops” blurted it out) that she knew nothing of any romantic relationship between the women.

    The reason they did not prosecute Maggie? She was their witness– they wanted to curry favor with her. Hard to do if you are prosecuting her. There is no other jurisdiction I have ever seen, heard of, or practiced in including federal court where they grant immunity to confidential informants to get testimony all the time where this would be allowed. It did not even raise an eyebrow or get the appropriate jury instruction in Yolo.

  18. Superfluous Man

    Kathryn,

    You speak, comparatively, of your experiences in other jurisdictions, which I appreciate, but can you be more specific and share which ones? Clearly your experiences (first one, btw?) in this jurisdiction has left you baffled and outraged. What do you think it is about Yolo County that makes it so much “worse” or less professional (or for that matter, how would you describe this county’s CJS) than other jurisdictions? Is it the size?

  19. kathryndruliner

    the other jurisdictions: Sacramento, San Jose ( I had a problem with the judge ruling for the DA when he shouldn’t but it was more of a good old boy home field advantage type thing; the jury didn’t care – they acquitted my african american parole officer of rape in 1 day), Placer (problematic at times due to geographical elemets similar to Yolo if you do the research, but not as bad), El Dorado, Sutter (all County DA prosecutions); Eastern District of United States (Federal United States Attorney Prosecutions. In Sutter when the DA was caught, after the defendant was acquitted of Rape, in misconduct (much less than here) he was fired.

    These comments about Yolo and Placer are not just my impressions but held by the defense bar in Sacramento at large. They charge a premium for even going into these counties. As hard as it is to believe I did not know Judge Mock was married to Ann Hurd nor did I have to. He had to reveal it. That is the law. If it were my job to know I would have researched it.

    I cannot but speculate (and trust me I have informed speculation about what is going on in Yolo) and will not put it in writing, but it is not the size of the County. I have had other cases there, just not that have gone to trial. I have generally had good results. When Judge Sweet was there he was wonderful; now he is wonderful in Sacramento. There is a deceased (so sorry that I forget his name) judge that I really liked and respected). There was also a visiting judge that went out of his way to work with me on an immigrant who stole a large sum of money one time and paid it all back, immediately expressing his remorse, never having done anything wrong before…etc. to keep him in the country with his family. But the DA was furious to put it mildly.

  20. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “Roger makes a good point here though because in this case, the accuser had relations, likely sexual with two adults, only one of whom was charged.”

    Now this is where I am confused. First of all, the two 18 year olds were not adults – an adult is age 21. Second, was it PROVEN that the 18 year old girl HAD SEX with the victim? The two are allowed to have a nonsexual romantic relationship. Suspicion the two had sex is not enough.

    What is also interesting to note inre Roger Rabbit’s comments about statutory rape, is that what constitutes a minor child who cannot consent to sex varies from state to state. I believe there is one Southern state that allows consent to marry as young as age 13. To add to the complication, we have a society that is highly sexualized, and a movie industry that promotes teen sex. Yet we have somewhat confusing statutory rape laws that say “no”. I think some serious teen sex education needs to happen in the schools about statutory rape, rape, consent, etc. Our society is sending kids mixed messages.

    Superfluous Man: Thanks for the info on Ann Hurd…

  21. kathryndruliner

    Superfluous Man: Judge Mock’s declaration filed yesterday makes some interesting points that raise the issue that he is assigning (as presiding judge he assigns cases) to himself for some reason and then insists on keeping them. This is different and wierd to say the least. The only thing I can imagine is — well you know I cannot comment, he is a judge. But in Sacto, Judge Peterson, one of the best, had a case with Fred Dawson and my husband, one of Peterson’s best friends. Peterson disclosed it (though Dawson knew of course) and got Dawson and his client waived. Dawson won— beat my husband. That was the correct thing to do and Peterson knew it and wouldn’t have done it any other way. This is not just Peterson, this is the law.

  22. kathryndruliner

    I can say that since Judge Mock filed what he called an answer, but what is merely a declaration,I am entitled to file a reply and I will. I will also ask the District Attorney to look into conduct arising from the filing.

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