For the past several weeks, I have asked Alan Bernstein (through this blog) why he has failed to publish the e-mail from Rob Freyer to Mike Trent, explaining himself for the use of the term "Canadian". For reasons unbeknownst to me, Mr. Bernstein has elected not to publish this e-mail. For some reason, Mr. Bernstein (and other members of the media, to be fair) has decided that the publication of anything even slightly mitigating on behalf of the Office is not worth their time.
Below is the e-mail that he has been sitting on all this time.
I realize that the explanation offered by Rob will not be acceptable to those who have been bashing him on every website that they could find, but the fact remains that he did give an explanation at the time.
I apologize for not having access to a scanner so I can't scan the copy of the e-mail that I was able to obtain. It was written on August 7, 2003 to Mike Trent. I have faithfully re-typed it word for word. If you have a doubt about any of the wording in it, contact Alan Bernstein at the Chronicle. He should have a copy of it, although he has elected not to publish it for his own reasons.
The trial referenced in the e-mail involved two counts of intoxication manslaughter related to a defendant who killed two people and injured a third while driving the wrong way down I-10, while intoxicated. The defendant had pled guilty to a jury, and the jury was only deciding the appropriate punishment on the cases (a fact that Mike Trent got wrong in the now infamous e-mail he sent to "All Prosecutors"). The jury deliberated for approximately two days, and at the time of the comment, Rob was frustrated with their inability to reach a verdict.
As stated earlier, this e-mail was written on August 7, 2003 at 11:58 a.m. and was not recently drafted in response to the bashing that Rob has received as part of the 2008 election. It reads:
This memorandum is written in response to an incident which took place on August 6, 2003.
On that date, as well as the day before, I had a jury deliberating punishment (the def. had already pled guilty to the jury) on a very bad and highly emotional intoxication manslaugher case in the 263rd District Court. I was frustrated by their inability to reach a verdict and commented in passing that (after reading some of the numerous pointless and confusing questions that they had sent out) that there must be some "canadian" back there in the jury room that was hanging them up. I in no way ever intended that such remark be taken seriously, nor did I attach to it or intend or suggest any other connotation for the term, other than it signifying that there was some weak-minded juror who was back there confusing the rest of the jury and preventing them from reaching a verdict. While I asked the jury to give the defendant the maximum on each of the three cases, a few members of the jury, in reading the questions that they sent out, were actually considering giving the defendant probation on one of the cases. After the case was over, I spoke at length with the jury before they left, and they told me that they had been confused by the deadly weapon special issue that had been submitted to them. I came back to my office and learned that my chief had sent out an all prosecutors email congratulating me on the result (12 years on two cases, stacked and 10 years on the inxication assault), and that some people in the office were offended by the email. I am truly sorry for that fact and want to stress that it was minsinterpreted and not intended in any way to offend or upset anyone.
Now, as I mentioned, I know that this e-mail will not appease those who have already decided within their own minds what they think of Rob Freyer.
However, that being said, it still does not explain nor justify why journalists such as Alan Bernstein have elected not to publish it as some form of mitigation. They have preferred to sit by and allege that Rob never responded to the allegations, when, in fact, they knew that he had. They have let him be called a racist (as well as several other choice names) by everyone who read their stories.
To me, that is irresponsible journalism.
It's also cowardice.