Guest Commentary: Concerns About Prosecutorial Misconduct Are Overblown

A recent column by David Greenwald in The Davis Vanguard, “Justice Watch: Prosecutorial Misconduct a Felony in California,” applauds a new law in California that punishes a prosecutor with up to three years in jail for intentionally altering or withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense during a criminal trial.

Calling this one of the “great advances, especially on the social justice front,” Greenwald cites a 2010 study by the Innocence Project that alleges there have been more than 700 cases of prosecutorial misconduct, which rarely resulted in the prosecutors being sanctioned by the courts.

This is the latest effort in an ongoing assault on the criminal justice system. As someone who considered President-elect Donald Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud to be irresponsible, I feel the same way about so many claims in this publication regarding prosecutorial misconduct.

Judge Alex Kozinski has alleged that this type of prosecutorial misconduct, known as a Brady violation, has “reached epidemic proportions in recent years” – although he only cites 29 cases to back up this supposed “epidemic.” And the New York Times wrote an editorial two years ago titled “Rampant Prosecutorial Misconduct” that claimed courts punish prosecutorial misconduct in fewer than 2 percent of the cases.

There’s no doubt that a few prosecutors occasionally overstep their bounds. But the reality is that they are rare, and there are sanction measures in place to deal with them. A more accurate picture emerges in a 2016 study by the California District Attorneys Association titled “Brady ‘Epidemic’ Misdiagnosis: A Careful Analysis of Prosecutorial Misconduct Claims and the Appropriate Sanctions Available to Punish and Deter.

It states that the New York Times editorial “conflates court treatment of misconduct with state bar association disciplinary hearings, and cites only favorable statistics supporting its cause, and then incompletely…. [O]ther [criminal] exoneration studies show the numbers to be infinitesimally small, when properly compared to all convictions during the period of exonerations studied.”

For example, in roughly the same 15-year period cited by Kozinski’s 29 cases of prosecutorial misconduct, there were approximately 24 million felony convictions in the United States and just 1,010 exonerations, according to the CDAA study. That works out to one exoneration for every 25,000 felony convictions – and only a portion of those exonerations was the result of prosecutorial misconduct.

That was also the case in a study called “Harmful Error” by the Center for Public Integrity of 590 California cases of alleged prosecutorial misconduct from 1970 to 2003. In only 75 of those cases did a judge rule that a prosecutor’s conduct prejudiced the defendant resulting in a reversal. And just 11 of those cases involved withholding evidence from the defense.

“The majority of prosecutors are ethical and understand that any Brady violation creates an injustice,” the study says. “That overwhelming majority deems intentional withholding of favorable evidence from the defense as unconscionable – but it happens. There is error, and there are some individuals unworthy of the high calling of prosecutor.”

Long before this recent legislation, sanctions have been in place to deal with unethical prosecutors, including firing, disbarment and jail. District attorneys are in the business of convicting criminals, and it defeats the purpose to have convictions overturned due to the actions of an unethical assistant DA.

“What is rarely reported in the media are examples of prosecutorial organizations and associations committed to making the trial process more fair,” according to the CDAA study. “In California, for example, the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice was created in 2004.

“In its reports section on Professional Responsibility and Accountability, the Commission begins: ‘There is every indication that, overall, District Attorneys and their staffs, Public Defenders and their staffs, and private criminal defense lawyers in California provide competent and highly professional service, meeting the highest ethical standards.’”

So it is ironic that as California engages in criminal justice experiments such as the incarceration of criminals in county jails instead of state prisons and the reduction of felony crimes to misdemeanors, it is at the same time cracking down on the law enforcement professionals working to keep us safe. The result has been a dramatic increase in crime statewide over the past two years.

We need to support District Attorney Jeff Reisig and his deputies by giving them the tools they need to incarcerate criminals. Attacking those that simply are doing their job and enforcing the law is misguided. Even Greenwald noted in a column in October that, “Jeff Reisig, the DA, got elected on a tough on crime platform and Yolo County’s statistics demonstrate that. Yolo County, a middle of the tier county in terms of crime rate, is near the top in per capita incarceration rate and at the top in most trials per capita.”

We have a criminal justice system that is in great turmoil with AB 109 (2011), Prop 47 (2014), and Prop 57 (2016) all taking effect at basically the same time. It is my view that the pendulum has swung from one extreme of locking too many people up to not locking up enough. While we struggle with these major policy reforms, restoring faith in law enforcement professionals would be a step in the right direction.

Matt Rexroad is the former Mayor of Woodland and currently a Yolo County Supervisor representing parts of Woodland and West Sacramento.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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71 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    I appreciate Mr. Rexroad’s views on prosecutorial function. I have a fundamentally different perspective.

    District attorneys are in the business of convicting criminals, and it defeats the purpose to have convictions overturned due to the actions of an unethical assistant DA.” 

    While this certainly reflects how our justice system is structured, I do not believe that this focus is inherently optimal. The premise here is that the person that the police have detained is indeed a criminal and it is the job of the prosector to work from that assumption which runs counter to the premise innocent until proven guilty. This inevitably puts the prosecutor in the position of stressing those facts that favor their case and downplaying potentially exculpatory evidence. This sets up an inherent bias that, in my opinion may consciously or subconsciously alter the prosecutor’s decision making processes. The most scrupulous may be able to overcomes this bias towards guilt, those who are not as meticulous may well be tempted to “tilt the scale” against the person whom they have decided is guilty. It is precisely this kind of malfeasance that should lead to an overturn of a verdict based on false or misleading evidence.

    One point of agreement is the use of hyperbole to dramatize a legitimate point. Clearly the use of the word “epidemic” for very small numbers might be seen as “overblown”. This dramatic use of journalistic language does not however mean that a problem does not exist, that it does not have unjust and profound life destroying effects for those affected and their families, nor does it mean that there should not be criminal sanctions for those who perpetrate these judicial crimes that destroy the lives of the potentially innocent as completely as would a violent crime.

    Jeff Reisig, the DA, got elected on a tough on crime platform”

    It is interesting to me that when we talk about “tough on crime” we tend to focus on violent crime and/or property crime. However, once a prosecutor has deliberately lied, or withheld evidence or slanted the case so as to “win” a conviction, to me this is as much a “crime” as are those such as theft or assault with possibly as profound an effect on the victim and their family. Should we not also be “tough” on prosecutorial misconduct ( aka crime ) when it occurs as Mr. Rexroad admits does indeed happen.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    Thank you for sharing your side… I have learned over my many decades that there are some decent folks even in the prosecutorial roles..  I have also found, interesting enough, that some of the best cops and sheriffs end up going to law school and then becoming defense attorneys.   I wonder why that is?

    PS.  I have met too many folks lately, especially, older women who have ended up incarcerated due to taking the fall for some man..  many were for white collar crimes, where the doctor had the bucks to get himself off, while the woman who was his secretary or bookkeeper for decades did not.

    From some of these friends I have found out that 1) Halfways houses are way worse than county  (At least in oakland) 2) County is WAY worse than prison ..  also at least in Oakland though I know for a fact that many who died at Yolo were not suicides either.  and 3) prison is the best thing out there …. though again it may be when and where and so on.

    Because of my hubby being from NJ, and having law enforcement folks in his family and also having tried to keep his older son from dying……  I learned way more than I wanted to know about NJ/NY law enforcement also… In an upscale area NJ jail>> this white boy was refused his thyroid medicine. . due to synovial(sp) sarcoma he had his thyroid removed. . and not only did they not allow him the medication but they punished him for having gotten drunk.  if anyone here knows anything about thyroid health they will understand..

    The black female copy who went out on a limb to help this white boy got punished… and finally had to resign and sue the upscale fancy schmancy  city…

    by the time there was an opening in the local prison…   he was nearly dead again. . his cancer, which had been in remission had returned.. ..

    if some are so dense they have no f idea why I bring up what I do..   get a f clue.

    Cancer and hormonal issues.. thyroid and so on ..  are ALL on the autoimmune spectrum..

    That county jail killed this boy..  and he sufferred for an additional 5 years before he passed.

    Corrupt cops and prison guards are protected in CA, Davis, Woodland, Fairfield, Solano and also in areas like Clark and Westfied NJ>  RIP Geoffrey and thank you Sandra for doing what you tried to do.

    Before someone goes out on a limb to say wtf does this have anything to do with Yolo.   I have all the docs still of what I had to spend to get one of my children off of a set up which included TWO different cops lying on reports and so ..  I finally had to hire now retired Professor Georgeanne McKee of the Christopher Wing law firm..  she was a sheriff who became a top Defense attorney.. later a McGeorge School of Law professor.. and now retired but still involved in a few things..

    I am so thankful that this is all truly ON topic..   and I don’t have a clue if you are a decent person or not but I have not been pleased with wtf goes on where YOU are overseeing.   cya

  3. David Greenwald

    I see two fundamental problems with this analysis.

    We see the argument made with respect to wrongful convictions and also police misconduct – infrequent occurrences are still a problem and even if there is only half a percent of cases that involve such problems, that turns out to be a large number of problem cases.

    The second problem is worse – we don’t know, what we don’t know.  The Orange County informant scandal was happening for years before Scott Sanders stumbled on it – and that’s so serious it is probably going to bring down the OC DA.  When the Innocence Project studied prosecutorial misconduct, the number of harmful instances was fairly low, but the overall number was much higher and again, these are only cases where the prosecutors got caught.

    1. PhillipColeman

      “The second problem is worse – we don’t know, what we don’t know.”

      Accusations of any misbehavior based on the premise of not knowing for sure translates to, we can accuse anybody for anything simply because we don’t know if its true or how true it is. What we don’t know therefore permits us to make public condemnations from imaginative projections and conjecture.

      Yes, that sure is a problem.

      1. David Greenwald

        We know there are cases of prosecutorial misconduct. We know that some of those cases involve serious misconduct. We have a number for the ones for which we have detected this misconduct. We don’t know the number for those which we have not detected this misconduct. History suggests that sometimes we don’t find out for years and sometimes it is by coincidence.

  4. Tia Will

    Yes, that sure is a problem”

    It certainly would be if that were what is being asserted. I do not believe that David, or anyone else is calling for a witch hunt. But there are a steps that I believe might illuminate the issue of what we “don’t know”. Just a few for example :

    1. How much money is spent on investigation, trial and incarceration of “law and order” type crimes vs prosecutorial and or police “crimes” ?  If the prosecution of these is not as rigorous…..why not ?

    2. What are the resources of the prosecutorial services as compared with the public defense services of any jurisdiction being evaluated ?

    3. How closely tied is the legal or political career of a prosecutor tied to his/her “win” ratio ? Are their direct or indirect financial benefits to having a higher “win” ratio ?

    I have no idea what the answers are and am wondering if those with experience within our police or legal system have any idea, or even see any point in seeking the answers.

      1. Tia Will

        Hi Matt

        I agree that in part of my post I wandered away from a pure consideration of  prosecutorial misconduct. However, I think that several of my points address it directly.

        How much money is allocated to any given process may be related to what approaches will be considered to achieve ones goals, in the case of a prosecutor, conviction. To pretend that resources do not matter is to ignore a fundamental precept of our money based society.

        Likewise, career goals may certainly affect how a prosecutor engages in decision making. I doubt that anyone is completely blind to how a decision may affect his/her future career options.

        Finally, I believe that a prosecutor might, like any other potential criminal, be deterred from bending or breaking the law if he or she knew that there would likely be a severe penalty to be payed vs believing that the “numbers” were likely on their side and that they were likely to get away with it. Is this not the rationale that is frequently used to claim deterrence as a major reason for imposing severe penalties ?  Why should prosecutorial misconduct be given special consideration if the law is broken deliberately ?

        Unless of course, I just answered to a post of your not directed to me. In which case I apologize.

        1. Matt Rexroad

          I don’t actually mind the penalties being increased for true prosecutorial misconduct.  I think it is terrible but happens rarely.

          These are not people operating alone.  The court process (particularly the criminal court process) is adversarial.  The other side has an advocate provided for by the US Constitution and a judge that decides the case.  Many of the issues raised in these comments had checks and balances that were not created just by the prosecutor.  They were made by the criminal justice system.

          My main objection is that in reading this blog you would think our local prosecutors are committing crimes daily. That is simply not the case. Prosecutorial misconduct is a serious charge and is not an accusation that should be made lightly… yet it appears on this blog regularly.

          Matt Rexroad

           

           

           

  5. Claire Benoit

    “It is interesting to me that when we talk about “tough on crime” we tend to focus on violent crime and/or property crime. However, once a prosecutor has deliberately lied, or withheld evidence or slanted the case so as to “win” a conviction, to me this is as much a “crime” as are those such as theft or assault with possibly as profound an effect on the victim and their family. Should we not also be “tough” on prosecutorial misconduct ( aka crime ) when it occur”

    I totally agree with you Tia.

    There is something very wrong with a system that would imprison and deport a domestic violence survivor to place a child with a mentally unstable war vet she has not seen in several years.

    There is something wrong with a system that would sentence a man to 400 years imprisonment – a sentence he cannot even outlive, for rape – let alone one that so many believe he is innocent of BUT give an admitted child rapist 18 months (? or was it even that which the Pedroia pedophile got?)

    There is something wrong with a system that would sentence a known 22 year old drug addict to life for fatal negligence of a newborn, BUT not bring in the father of that newborn nor the social service professionals who knew better for questioning.

    There is something wrong with a system that would go to bat to keep a man behind bars for life for a failed child abduction he committed he committed 40 years ago while a young adult drug addict battling scars of child abuse. The man has since gone all out to prove hes a changed man, and he will never be allowed the chance to be a man at all. Again, no one is dead from his crime – but he has a bloodless death sentence. (life imprisonment).

    There is something very wrong with a system that would charge a domestic violence survivor with 2 counts of felony child abduction in favor of an adjudicated suicidal batterer. Especially when state, federal, AND international laws on custody and abduction support common sense.

    So any looking into the systems is a worthwhile effort. Like the greatest fans of some of these systems like to tell the victims of its failures: “If they have nothing to hide, why not welcome the challenge?”

  6. Claire Benoit

    Oh I forgot,

    There is something wrong with a system that would attempt to give a mentally ill man life imprisonment for stealing a block of cheese, “luckily” the system “failed” in their efforts and the cheese thief “only” got seven years.

    Get real.

  7. Tia Will

    Good morning Claire,

    To add to your list, I would add the injustice of convicting a meth addicted mother of murder  ( perhaps appropriately, but perhaps not since post partum psychosis never seems to have been considered) while failing to charge the father of the baby for provision of the meth, or child endangerment as he knew in his own words, that the mother whom he had just injected was not in an appropriate mental state to care for an infant. Does this not at least represent being an accessory in the death of the infant ?  If not, why not ?

    I cannot help but wonder if a “we got our conviction so now we are done” mentality may not play a role  but of course we “have no way of knowing what we do not know”.

    1. Marina Kalugin

      to Mr. Rexroad.. just because we do not have enough evidence at hand,  on whether there was or was no prosecutorial misconduct, doesn’t mean there wasn’t any..   and there were many things shared early only which made it suspicious whether she was read her Miranda rights and then a possible plea bargain and so much false data shared with the media.. .all of which also leads a reasonable person to suspect there was way more than ever met the eye.

      I also tend to lump in all the other “city or county” public employees in with the actual prosecutors…their failures and negligence only exacerbate the issues and are also hidden or protected by being “public servants”…  the whole system is a mess and the fact that you are only trying to defend it rather than even acknowledging that improvements must be made only confirms that you are not there to serve the public but have your own agendas..

      1. Matt Rexroad

        Well then you fall into the same category as Mr. Trump is regards to voter fraud.  No evidence of widespread voter fraud… but because it might exist go ahead and trash the whole system.

        Great.

        Matt Rexroad

         

  8. Claire Benoit

    Good morning Tia,

    As much as I loathe violence against children – in the case of Samantha Greene – I do agree with you.

    Especially since other than that precious baby, the only victim of the drug-induced negligence that caused Rees’ death is Samantha.

    Giving that woman life imprisonment spares the public NO danger. Offers her zero opportunity to reflect and heal (because she will continue to be seriously drugged for the rest of her life).

    There will never be any redeeming value to that baby’s life being cut short.

    In addition to her sentence being nonsensical; she was NOT the only party whose negligence contributed to that child’s death. More people need to be held accountable for the baby’s death. Life imprisonment was not appropriate for anyone in this case.

  9. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    For example, in roughly the same 15-year period cited by Kozinski’s 29 cases of prosecutorial misconduct, there were approximately 24 million felony convictions 

    24 million felons is a lot  more serious serious social problem than the prosecutioral misconduct. Unbelievable. Only in America

    1. David Greenwald

      I don’t agree. There are a lot of problems with prosecutorial misconduct. For instance, there was a man who spoke at our event in 2011. He was wrongly convicted of murder. There was misconduct involved in that conviction. Them locking up the wrong guy meant that the actual murderer was out of prison and he killed someone else before they corrected the mistake after the guy served 20 years in prison. Is that not a serious problem?

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

        David

        Come on . Use you imagination . With such numbers of prosecution it  is impossible to eliminate bad apples , prosecutors misconducts and legal mistakes . Beside this the American criminal justice system became a big industry which employs huge number of people producing millions of prisoners  at  American taxpayers expenses .  I simplified the problem but the article about crime in Chicago is speaking for itself.  America no need more prisoners, prisons and prosecutors . No wonder why  the unemployment is so low  in USA.

        The civil justice system is not in the  better shape  than criminal justice system . If you have to wait one year to transmit the  record on appeal from the California  Superior Court to the Appellate Court  and law states that  it should be done within 60 days than justice system is broke .  I agree with you that nobody should be wrongfully convicted and die or spend 20 years in prions. However,  by reading your opinions and your articles you are playing very safe game for yourself as journalist. What going with your Yolo Leaks ? You need to produce something more interesting  what would  bring more subscribers to DV and higher salary for yourself.  As as example the WFC was perfect opportunity for DV and you  under the Yolo Leaks or what ever DV investigation  to find out what really happened to two billion dollars projects which could have enormous impact to UC Davis , employment and fame for the University of California . After the  DV implemented login with Facebook it seems to me that David Greenwald is publishing articles about Milo for himself .

        Best to you and to DV in 2017

      2. Matt Rexroad

        It does happen.  I acknowledge that.  Just like voter fraud happens.  Both are very serious.

        Does it mean that we trash election officials and prosecutors because of a very small percentage of the cases?  You think so. I think not.

        Matt Rexroad

        matt@rexroad.com

        1. Tia Will

          Matt

          Does it mean that we trash election officials and prosecutors because of a very small percentage of the cases? “

          I do not see pointing out a numerically small but very serious problem as synonymous with “trashing” anyone. Those to whom the problem does not apply should not take umbrage. Those who are engaged in prosecutorial malfeasance should be treated as severely as those who use cruder methods to destroy lives.

           

    2. Tia Will

      Jerry

      This is justification of the unjustifiable by use of numbers. If I commit a single murder, I should be tried and convicted of it and society should be protected from me. It does not matter if I left the remaining 325 million Americans unharmed, I still committed the murder. Should our society just shrug its collective shoulders and say “We have more important societal problems ?”

      1. Marina Kalugin

        Dr Tia. . you are not getting it.  and likely you WILL not. . let it rest.   Jerry and I are now both spoonfeeding the minions.  let it rest, okay?

      2. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

        Tia
        As a doctor you perfectly understand what is the “Preventive Health Care “ and  I understand importance of the “Preventive Maintenance” in the facilities which are producing electricity and other utilities for the public .The American prisons   packed with 24 million felons shows that the American justice system is a catastrophe. The “Prevention and Early Intervention’ does not work and prosecutors, judges , public defenders and jurors  are overwhelmed with so many cases that “next please” became the routine .
        The prefect example is the Chicago with a 700 people  killed and 4000 shot in one year. How the Chicago’s criminal court system could handle in proper and timely manner so many cases beside other  committed crimes not to mention human tragedies associated with these crimes.   I don’t believe that by building more prisons is the solution and  how the justice system should be fixed including elimination of prosecutor misconduct.. Do you?
         

        1. Tia Will

          Good morning Jerry,

          First to address the question you asked me directly. No. I do not believe that building more prisons is a solution to our current judicial system. Although I have no direct experience, since my partner is a psychologist with the prison system I do have some second hand insight into the California system. Using that as my basis, I would offer the following as more productive and less expensive than more prisons.

          1. No incarceration for non violent crime. Consider house arrest or some form of tracking instead. We now have the technology to make this a realistic option.

          2. No incarceration for mental illness. Hospitalization on secured ward for the dangerous. Medically determined level of care for all others.

          3. Stress rehabilitation and reintegration over punishment. Community service as pay back for those whose crimes are solely economic.

          But, back to the specific topic of this thread, prosecutorial misconduct. When it is the prosecutor who deliberately breaks the law, and the outcome is the loss of another’s life, either through capital punishment or by the false imprisonment of an innocent, then the penalty for that crime should be the same as if he had committed murder or if he had kidnapped and kept the victim in a basement cell for the same amount of time. When it is the prosecutor who knowingly takes the life of an innocent, why should his/her punishment be less than that of anyone else who does the same ?

        2. Marina Kalugin

          on this topic, because of you and your partner’s life experience we are on the same page..

          it is a travesty, however, that prison is now better than halfway houses ans county jail…and actually WAY better than junior colleges and HS  and preschool..

          the only real issue is that once one is sentenced to the penal system they loose all basic rights.. even when they did nothing wrong..

          the are forced vaccinated against their will and are never the same again..

          For senior women who know the truth about the annual mercury in the flu shots..  and so much else.. once they have all their “VACCINES” given to them all at once during checkin…  they are never the same again.

          Since, Dr. Tia, you admitted you do not administer the vaccines, you may be grossly out of date on that topic….

          I actually never expected you to be up on that .. .your children are likely older than the ones who are now being poisoned by Guardasil  (sp)

          Before you start espousing your ignorance again on this topic, please head to the CDC website and read about the ingredients in each injection..

          And yes, this is ON TOPIC>  it is why so much is going on in this country. .why prosecutorial misconduct is tolerated.. why many innocent are in the penal system

          Why I know the harms of the current vaccines… and it goes on and on..

          Please do some real research..  and learn the truth Dr. Tia..  you must have access to Pub Med.. don’t you?

          Search in pubmed  in 1999.  LIVE MMR virus is shed for weeks later from the skin and cells of those vaccinated..  IN PUBMED>  USA>>

          Sorry to yell but some are so f clueless.    that is WHY the measles spread in Disneyland.. in the USA there has not been a single strain of wild Measles in decades…

          And it was blamed on an unvaccinated child. . how is that even possible?

          If the strain has not existed in the wild?

          Put your thinking cap on.. do the research..  get a clue..

          Read Hippocrates and learn what they failed to teach ya anywhere along the line…

        3. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

          Tia

          You have some good points in your response and I agree with you that the punishment for the same type of crimes should be no different if the crime was commuted by Tia or Jerry . However in  the real world the with such enormous  number of prosecutions is impossible to eliminate bad  prosecutors , judges and attorneys  which violates the court rules , law and they don’t care if Tia get 10 years for stealing pack of  candies in store and Jerry would be admonished only and case would be dismissed . I view the guilty plea agreements as the area where the prosecutors misconduct is notoriously  taking place  with  judges and the defense lawyers or public defenders cooperation to harm accused party. The quick solution.

          I would like to see 10 millions felons in prisons instead of 24 millions million in the next 15 years . This is what I was taking about by mentioning ‘prevention and early intervention” .   24 million in prison instead of working, raising families or going to school is the social serious problem and degeneration of society in general.

      3. Matt Rexroad

        Tia — then you should have no problem with Donald Trump commenting about election fraud. It happens. It happens very very rarely but it happens and it is terrible. Therefore any questioning of that system is justifiable under your rationale.  I don’t believe that.

        In the same way I don’t agree with Donald Trump questioning the integrity of the election process I don’t think we is Yolo County should question the integrity of the criminal justice system because of a few bad acts.

         

        Matt Rexroad

  10. Marina Kalugin

    where is Mr. B when we need him?   to continue to espouse the side of cops have it so hard and they HAVE to be more careful?

    What about the many folks whose names where cleared some years after they were killed by a death sentence.. even one is TOO much..

    If you were innocent but in the wrong place, without even knowing is was the wrong place, and you were on parole and you had your wife and babies with you.  what is your option?

    leave the scent to protect the babies?

    run?

    put you hands in your pocket to get your wallet?

    reach for the dash to get your insurance?

    what if you were holding a toy for the baby?
    what is you were opening the door to get out and the copy was a fearful kind?  what if the cop was not looking where he should.. . due to ticks or other OCD?

    What it the cop saw a shadow..

    What it the husband is dead and they wife caught it ALL on tape..  and the babies saw their DAD killed before their eyes…

    This is a very true and very recent story in Sac or Stockton…

    And who is going to pay for the cost of the young lady not having a father for the children in HER life?

    Or the children’s trauma and wtf is the police officer going to do to replace daddy?

    And wtf is going to pay for the children’s existence and education?

    Is the cop who freaked and pulled the trigger? how about the police department.. even if they were to admit any culpability?

    Is there INSURANCE enough to make the Family WHOLE?   isn’t that one of the criteria for the civil suits?

    Nada..  never… .. get a f clue folks…

    1. Matt Rexroad

      What does that have to do with prosecutorial misconduct?  You have concerns with the overall public policy issue of criminal justice… but those are not relevant to a conversation about the issues I raised.

      Matt Rexroad

      matt@rexroad.com

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

        Matt

        The best example of the prosecutorial misconduct I know was the prosecution of the California Senator Leland Yee . The prosecution was ordered by Janet Napolitano in  May 2011 and was carried out by  Melinda Haag in 2014-2016.   Leland Yee was the California’s  Bernie Sanders and he was admired by Dave Greenwald and DavisVanguard quite often . He was thrown into prison by Napolitano and Haag  like a piece of  garbage .

        1. Marina Kalugin

          how fast some forget, Jerry.  .

          the Napolitano was brought in by the Gov to clean house..  it appears the only reason she is still here is because now she has something on the Gov.  When the longest running regent,  so sorry I am blank on his name, a Latino gentleman, gave one of the keynote addresses at the  Upper Management UC wide.. 2015 Administrative Business Officers group conference at UCSC at the Chaminade ..  This Latino Regent was retiring.. and there was no powerpoint as someone bailed at the last minute and he was convinced to come… ..

          He owns the largest Latino business in CA and much of the USA>   Tia Rosa or the other tortilla company….

          Anyway, he shared that the Gov is appointing young dumb democrats who have not a clue about how the UC came about.. how it is a land grant University and so on.

          He said that the cronies of Gov Brown are only ruining the UC  and that the Napolitano is in on it..

          That is one of the best examples, Jerry.. …   LK stepped down as she knew the Napo would not give up and so on..

          I am very disappointed so far on the article and Mr. Rexroads comment. . it is a well known attorney tactic to deflect from the real issues.

          I wonder what else he is hiding..

           

        2. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

          Marina

          Write in “Search the site ” Leland Yee ”  .Yee  was  quickly erased by Stalinists from the Dems party and  was forgotten  even faster than erased . Katehi was hit at time when Yee was prosecuted  in Federal Court and in February and  March 2016. She was targeted by same people and she was very lucky she did nor follow  Leland Yee  by Napolitano and  Melinda Haag had a surprise for her . Did not work out.   Napolitano was brought to  the UC system by Dianne Feinstein ,  Blum and Brown . Now, Brown and De Leon are  hiring Eric Holder to defense themselves against the new President Donald Trump. Interesting . Napolitano would not be here if Hillary would won the election . Her campaigning  effort in State of Arizona for Hillary Clinton did not help her much . Hillary lost.

  11. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   Mamabear is back..  go Mamabear though your cubs are now safe in a way better place.   I get why you are riled up.. nothing makes a mamabear more riled up than criminals who make ones life hell.. not to mention way more expensive than it needs to be..

    When the criminals are on THAT side of the bar.  one gets even madder.. this guy speaks a good talk..  but heck he should know  better given just how many years of “public” service he had done.. in this county…

    If those who made such poor decisions over the years were held accountable, like this man, he would be on  the other side of the bars ALREADY>>  cya

     

  12. Tia Will

    Marina

    it is a travesty, however, that prison is now better than halfway houses ans county jail…and actually WAY better than junior colleges and HS  and preschool..”

    Please be specific in how you believe that prison is “Way better than junior colleges and HS and preschool. I honestly cannot see how you have even seen this as a valid comparison but am open to consideration.

    Since, Dr. Tia, you admitted you do not administer the vaccines, you may be grossly out of date on that topic…”

    I stated that I do not order the immunizations currently, not that I am out of date on the topic. I have remained up to date on the subjects that I am likely to be asked about by my patients in the Breast Screening Center which is my only current clinical function. You continuously present only one side of the issue and consistently lump all immunizations into the same category, a position not based on any scientific evidence since immunizations vary in their efficacy and associated risks.

    Don

    I am aware that this is off topic. As long as Marina continues to post on this topic, I will feel free to respond. Please feel free to take down any posts of hers and mine that you feel exceed the boundaries of the topic.

     

    1. Marina Kalugin

      Dr Will, did you actually do any research or did you go to the AMA or Bayer sponsored “continuing education units” held at Kaiser?   I mean did you head to pub med and  look for yourself and analyze the statistics.. or listen to the media or your “bosses”..

      [moderator] This is completely off topic. Just stop it, please.

        1. Marina Kalugin

          well, Jerry Oleg is a distant relative.. he never left when the others bailed ….

          obviously not on the engineer side of my family..  ie everyone else..

          PS>  My brother, SE George N. Kalugin passed away in 2004 from an accidental oxycontin OD, did ya know that legal drug is way worse than heroin..  perhaps Dr. Will.. can trot out the statistics…if ya google his name the 40 something guy in Oregon with a criminal record a mile long  is not MY George…

  13. Claire Benoit

    You are both far more educated than me so a lot of what you’re saying is over my head. But I don’t feel like you (Tia and Marina) are as polarized as you think on the prison system.

    I don’t doubt that some living conditions exceed the standards of our schools and jails…

    But this is only because prisons are being excessively crowded and misused. Even if prisons were posher than Buckingham palace – would anyone enjoy being chained to the floor of it until they die? Would anyone NOT resent losing just 100 days of their life over a crime they’ve been wrongfully charged with? Would anyone have reverence for losing more than ten years of their life over a non-violent crime? Or a crime they committed against themselves while inarguably insane (Greene)?

    So even if prisons are “nicer” than they should be, it is only because too many people are spending too much time there. And wrongfully so.

    Tia I 100% agree with your ideas on crime and punishment. I can see the logic in every single one of them. The problem with prisons now (aside from egomaniacal/dysfunctional/corrupt prosecutions) is that they serve very little of their admitted purpose. Now if this is a new mask for slavery, call it what is so that at least its “success” is recognizable. If prisoners are the new free labor and lab rat supply; then just call a spade for it’s point already.

    But if America is not a country of slavery any longer, then what is the purpose of the prisons? Protecting the public is nonsense if America is spending $500k to send cheese thieves to prison for 7 years.  Good old fashioned “punishment” is an illusion when you consider how many of these prisoners were practicing drug addicts before they went in. Or does the public not realize how heavy handed the medications are in prisons? Medications that deliver an even more grotesque “high” than whatever made a monster out the broken person before they committed their crime. I hate to rain on the parade of a good hanging audience but sending an addict to a drug buffet for the rest of their life will not feel like punishment.

    The people who feel the burn of the “punishment” are, in most instances, people who should not be there in the first place. Prisons are expensive and not serving the public. The very few people behind bars who pose an unchangeable risk to the public should be given the freedom to choose a humane and swift euthanization as an alternative to life imprisonment. These people; cold blooded murderers or child rapists should be given the most minimal basic needs should they choose to live out their sentences. But they should always be offered an option for euthanization if it is their preference. It is a human right that is, imho, far more valid than abortion.

  14. Marina Kalugin

    PS.   He must have been the Mayor or a supe during the unneeded water project fiasco..  It may be interesting to see the donor list for when he was Mayor and also now supervisor.  Follow the money  I always say.. or often enough…

    1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

      Marina

      Matt Rexroad is  well educated classy guy. Former US  Marine ,Bachelor Degree in Political Science  Master Degree in Administration and Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law.  He has the  future as a politician .

      1. Marina Kalugin

        he is already a politician Jerry. . I wonder what ( retired?0 Professor Georgeanne McKee at McGeorge School of Law would say.. .she was the Sac sheriff who went to law school to become a high level defense attorney after she saw the prosecutorial misconduct in Sac and Yolo..

        so far, I am not impressed with his record in Woodland nor Yolo.. sorry.. I wonder if Ms. McKee, JD, would like to tell us more?

        I may ask her.. she is still a FB friend..  🙂

        1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

          Marina

          I meant  state or federal level politician .  State Senator ,  Governor etc. Ask Ms. McKee , J.D.  about “Mean Justice ” in  Yolo and Sacramento County. It could be interesting . Sacramento is swampy because  because  of the politicos high politicos concentration . Yolo is Woodland and Davis  than theoretically corruption should have no place there.

  15. Marina Kalugin

    oh yeah, I forgot. . Blum and Feinstein. . I kinda liked them when they were running SF. . but after the decades of fluoride they got dumber and dumber.

    Power hungry and greedy.  . the latino regent couldn’t stand Blum either.  Now Garamendi. now that guy had class and smarts and is still a friend of the UC>.

    yep it is always follow the money and get a f clue..

    1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

      Blum is the UC Regent for life  , Feinstein is US senator for life , Napolitano is theirs business  guardian  and Senator Leland Yee became a victim of  the Melinda Haag’s  prosecutorial misconduct .  In 2010 Senator Yee  got idea to audit UC system and Blum’s and others shady business activities in UC system . This how Napolitano got awarded her job as a UC President.  I thought United States has no political prisoners.

  16. Marina Kalugin

    they were statements of fact.. . not attacks. .I always am happy to be proven “mistaken” or “wrong”.

    I was getting more and more upset that the DV and DS and DG were scrubbing on topic and factual statements..

    I am even planning to start my own   anit-DV   🙂  of course my serbian friends will host it there   🙂

    many many no longer post or share here. .due to muzzling.

    Anyone who has the guts enough to be a guest commentator should be able to take the heat. .

    That, DG and DV and so on, should be a rule  .. I mean if it was my deal   🙂

    [moderator] We wish to encourage guest columnists and to do so we will remove attacks on the authors. Stick to the issues and topics only.

  17. Tia Will

    Marina

    many many no longer post or share here. .due to muzzling.”

    By my count, less than 5 ,who are not muzzled, but simply do not want to go through the new process nor adhere to topic. I can vouch for the generosity of moderation since many of my own off topic responses have been allowed to stand, as have our conversations, so you have been included.

    Matt

    Your willingness to engage is appreciated.

    I am also wondering about your feelings about equal treatment for those ( however small in number ) who deliberately destroy lives using prosecutorial misconduct rather than guns or knives as their weapon ?

     

    1. Matt Rexroad

      I don’t know that violent crime and prosecutorial misconduct can be equated in any way.

      One is a very serious administrative action that is a violation of the law and the ethical obligation as an attorney that causes great harm to people and should be punished.

      Those that use guns and knives in an illegal manner may end up causing harm and endanger others.. but the circumstances vary widely.

      Matt Rexroad

      matt@rexroad.com

      1. Howard P

        Just curious, Matt… if prosecutorial misconduct is substantiated, would you support permanent disbarment in CA and notification of that action to all State Bars?  At a minimum…?  That’s what I’m thinking as kind of a three strike thing, unless it is very egregious…

        Ok not to engage on that question, am looking for views, not to pick on you..

        1. David Greenwald

          Actually according to state law now, it’s a felony, it used to be a misdemeanor.

          I think we’ve gotten too loose with definitions here, what we are talking about is Brady Violations – withholding of exculpatory evidence from the defense.

        2. Howard P

          Well, David, glad you’re now framing the issue as Brady violations… given other things such as “overcharging”, or “charging me when I’m innocent because it was someone else’s fault”, etc.

          Might have been helpful to have narrowed the field earlier… maybe not…

          1. David Greenwald

            HP:

            The original article that Rexroad linked clearly stated in paragraph three: “The law signed back in October makes prosecutors, who alter or intentionally withhold evidence from the defense, able to be punished by up to three years in prison.” Not sure how I’m “now framing the issue as Brady violations.”

        3. Claire Benoit

          Forgive my being off topic David. You did clarify that this is referring to a specific misconduct. I just cannot believe that laws have to be passed to make abuse of power and human rights punishable. My disgust with the “powers” involved in my case is hard for me to set aside.
          Happy New Year.

          1. David Greenwald

            There are other problems in the system other than just prosecutorial misconduct, but things got a little too far afield.

        4. Howard P

          Pardonnez-moi… obviously, the expectation for some commenters is that they drill down to every link, before commenting… others, not so much… je compris.

          1. David Greenwald

            I didn’t have an expectation, but you said “now I framed it” as though all of a sudden I changed my position. I didn’t. The part of this discussion I contributed to, it was clearly laid out.

        5. Howard P

          OK, David… on fourth read, I see the “point” even if not referred to as a Brady violation…  yet,others obviously did not get the “withholding of exculpatory evidence’, either…

      2. Tia Will

        Matt

        I don’t know that violent crime and prosecutorial misconduct can be equated in any way.”

        I do believe that they able to be equated in terms of the permanent damage that they can cause to the lives of others.

        I agree that we tend to find violent crime more repulsive and are more fearful when faced with it. However, I believe that the reason that we sanction crime ( whether violent or white collar ) at all is because of the adverse affects on the victims.

        One aspect that we have not even considered is that a prosecutor who walks very close to the edge of the line of truth in presenting their case will be free to do so repetitively, where as the violent criminal, once caught will likely not be free to commit further crimes . The prosecutor is, as David pointed out, likely to receive a “slap on the wrist” regardless of the harm that has been done to the lives of innocents and their families.

  18. Claire Benoit

    Prosecutorial misconduct can be just as damaging as violent crimes. Wrongful imprisonment, job loss, forced migration… Consider that an unethical prosecutor can demand that a parent sacrifice the well being of their children and avail themselves to wrongful imprisonment pending a fabricated criminal case.

    Even when the prosecutors actions are 100% WRONG based on the LAWS that are supposed to govern the courts, the prosecutor gets no punishment. Instead the unlucky person guilty of defending the law and their own human rights gets to rot in a prison cell pending a trial that proves the prosecutor was wrong…. Even when the prosecutor (and the court) already knows the prosecution is in the wrong. But they have the ability to ignore all documentation and evidence supporting laws that protect whoever they’ve decided to wrongfully pursue.

    Even after someone who is wrongly prosecuted “wins” a case like this, they’ve lost how much of their life? Had how much of their life changed and compromised indefinitely??

    Meanwhile a fair share of idiotic fans of civil obedience in the face of tyranny will side with a prosecutor’s entitlement to power no matter how ill used and abused?

    I hope Kamala looks at Yolo next.

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