SANTA CLARA (KCBS)—A Santa Clara County veteran prosecutor has been suspended without pay for withholding evidence in high-profile gang trail in San Jose.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen suspended prosecutor Daniel Carr for four weeks without pay for withholding key evidence until just before trial. Under California state law, prosecutors must turn over evidence at least 30 days before a trial.
“It’s extremely unusual for a prosecutor to be disciplined…especially this harshly and this publicly,” Robert Weisberg, Director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, said. “I think what Jeff Rosen was trying to do was to sort of clear the air in the office generally because there have been other concerns preceding Jeff’s administration about withholding of evidence.”
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
Carr is appealing the suspension, and is seeking the reimbursement of over $16,000 in lost pay. Carr said he withheld the evidence because he was concerned about threats to witnesses’ safety.
“If this concern had been expressed to the judge, the judge could have ruled that some delay or some limitation on disclosure might have been possible, but the real message is: When in doubt, talk to the judge,” Weisberg said.
The trial in question, involves the murder of 19-year-old Adrian Medina, who was not a gang member but was fatally beaten and stabbed at party in San Jose on July 7, 2007. The prosecution alleges that eight San Jose gang members were responsible.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the trial has now been delayed until early 2013.
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