Orange County Deputy PD Scott Sanders Speaks November 15 on Prosecutorial Misconduct

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Tickets $50 in advance; $55 at the door; sponsorships available – https://secure.yourpatriot.com/ou/dpd/150/1452/eventsignup.aspx

Orange County Deputy Public Defender Scott Sanders will be the Vanguard's Keynote Speaker at the Fourth Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on November 15, 2014
Orange County Deputy Public Defender Scott Sanders will be the Vanguard’s Keynote Speaker at the Fourth Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on November 15, 2014

KEYNOTE SPEAKERORANGE COUNTY DEPUTY PUBLIC DEFENDER, SCOTT SANDERS

Scott Sanders graduated from University of Wisconsin and Emory University Law School.  He has been an attorney with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office for twenty-one years, and currently serves as an Assistant Public Defender.   Sanders is currently preparing for trial in two capital cases.  In one of the cases, People v. Dekraai, eight people were killed in a hair salon located in Seal Beach.

 In January of 2014, the defense filed a motion, accompanied by 15,000 pages in exhibits, alleging misconduct both in People v. Dekraai and in multiple other serious cases.  The motion also detailed the prosecution’s improper use of an informant in the case, and the government’s use of a jail informant program that repeatedly concealed its intentional violations of the Sixth Amendment.   The trial court permitted four months of hearings in which numerous prosecutors and members of law enforcement testified. During the hearings, the District Attorney’s Office admitted that discovery was withheld in a number of cases.  The DA recently agreed to vacate a special circumstances murder conviction because of discovery violations detailed in the motion.

In August of this year, the trial court denied the motion to dismiss the death penalty and a motion to recuse the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.  However, the court stated that “many of the witnesses who testified during the course of this hearing were credibility challenged. These witnesses include current and former prosecutors, as well as current and former sworn peace officers. Some perhaps suffered from “failure of recollection. Others undoubtedly lied.”  The court found that “serious” misconduct by the prosecution team warranted exclusion of the statements made to the informant for all purposes.  See article: The Pernicious Specter of Prosecutorial Misconduct

 

PANEL DISCUSSION – PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT

Jeff Adachi (invited), SF Public Defender

David Angel, Deputy D.A. Santa Clara County, Director of Convictions Integrity Unity

Prof. Deborah Davis, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno

Attorney Todd Leras, Former candidate for Sacramento County D.A.

Prof. Gabriel “Jack” Chin, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis

 

2014 VANGUARD COURT WATCH JUSTICE AWARDS RECIPIENTS

Public Official Category: Robb Davis, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Davis

Organization Category: Uniting for Racial Justice at the Unitarian Universalist Church and The Phoenix Coalition

Activist Category: Patricia Pursell

Youth Justice Category: Valeria Hernandez

Attorney Category: Attorney, Stewart Katz

Law School / University Category: UC Davis Law School Prison Law Clinic

ABOUT THE VANGUARD COURT WATCH:

The Vanguard Court Watch of Yolo County is a non-profit organization that researches and reports on legal issues in Yolo County – monitoring the court system for common flaws and policies that might lead to wrongful convictions or lengthy sentences that are not proportionate with the crimes committed. Our mission is to give the public a better understanding of the major causes of injustice so that together we can build a better, fairer, more just legal system. At the dinner, the Vanguard Court Watch will acknowledge people and organizations that have made a significant change or contribution to ensuring the integrity of our justice system and the greater cause of social justice. The Vanguard Court Watch operates on a tight budget and utilizes countless volunteers and student interns to give them an opportunity to observe first-hand our judicial system while gaining valuable experience. This event will raise the funds necessary to support the continued work of The Vanguard Court Watch.

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi on the Vanguard Court Watch:

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Tickets $50 in advance; $55 at the door; sponsorships available – https://secure.yourpatriot.com/ou/dpd/150/1452/eventsignup.aspx

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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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