SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco prosecutors say they are investigating allegations by the Public Defender’s Office that a sign-in sheet for witnesses circulated Monday morning with a reference to defendants as “bad guys.”
A deputy public defender spotted the handwritten sign-in sheet Monday morning in Department 11 on the court clerk’s desk, according to public defender’s office spokesperson Tamara Barak Aparton.READ MORE: 2 Men Suspected Of Setting Massive Caldor Fire Under Arrest
The list had space for witnesses to sign in and a column titled “bad guys” to indicate which case they were there for, Barak said.
The source of the list remains unclear, but prosecutors bring in a sign-in sheet for witnesses every day to track appearances, Barak said.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who was present in court, asked the judge to determine who was responsible for the sign in sheet but no one admitted to producing it.READ MORE: Instagram Head Faces Sharp Questions From Senators Amid Anger Over Possible Harm To Young Users
Aparton said the incident raised concerns about training and about attitudes in the district attorney’s office.
“I would hope that they would properly train someone to know that the presumption of innocence is not a platitude and everybody is entitled to the full benefit of that protection,” she said. “It’s not cute to dismiss somebody’s constitutional rights.”
District Attorney’s Office spokesman Alex Bastian said the incident was “very concerning behavior and not how we train our employees.”
“We have been looking into this matter and have no reason to believe this was created by our Assistant District Attorney,” Bastian said. “We do not know who created this sign in sheet, as typically our sign in sheets are typewritten.”MORE NEWS: Sunnyvale Extends Downtown Outdoor Dining Program Into Late 2022
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