Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Just an Observation

I was talking to a friend and fellow defense attorney today.  He told me about a recent experience with a younger prosecutor who had claimed being ready for trial and announcing that a case was "first up."  As it turned out, the prosecutor was not only not ready for trial, but also knew that the court wasn't going to trial that week -- the bold announcement of being "ready" and "first up" were merely ploys to get trial counsel to take a plea bargain.  The ploy failed, although the defense attorney spent his three-day weekend prepping for a trial that the prosecutor knew damn good and well wasn't going to be happening.

This particular maneuver by a prosecutor isn't a new one, but it is definitely chickenshit.

Our conversation then turned to the departures of three felony Chiefs and one very senior Felony Two from the D.A.'s Office in the past two weeks.

"You think they (the four departing prosecutors) ever would have pulled that shit?" I asked, referencing the younger prosecutor's maneuver.

Of course the answer was no.

The prosecutors leaving the Office right now are the exact types of people that shouldn't be leaving, and something needs to be done to stem the bleeding.

That "something" may not win any additional votes, but it goes a long way towards fulfilling that oath about seeking Justice.

4 comments:

Matt Dexter said...

Very astute observation. I hope you are not right, but I think you are.

Anonymous said...

First, I agree--especially saying the case is "first up." If the prosecutor knows the court isn't going to trial, then nothing is "first up" and that claim is false.

But...

Why would the prosecutor have to announce "ready" if the court wasn't going to trial that week? In other words, what would have happened if the prosecutor announced "not ready"? Would the court, knowing it wasn't going to try anything anyway, make the state dismiss the case? That too would seem "chickenshit."

This isn't a defense of the prosecutor's actions. But if the prosecutor's gamesmanship is in response to judicial gamesmanship, perhaps both problems need to be addressed.

Anonymous said...

Who is the third chief? I know about Erin, Donna and Aaron. Who is the fourth?

Anonymous said...

Murray, sure it's a crappy thing the ADA did. It was also crappy when I reached out to a defense attorney on Friday before a murder trial was set and he told me that he was ready and ours was the only case he had set. Yet come Monday he was in trial out of county on a case that began the week before. The out of county trial was just in recess on that Friday when I called him. No mention that he was in trial. A weekend lost.

It was also crappy when I reached out to a defense attorney and received assurances that we would be going to trial on Monday on an aggravated robbery. Defendant was "NEVER" going to plead. Monday came and he and the client came in to plead. The attorney said, he was always going to plead the case, "I just needed a trial setting to get my fee." Another weekend lost.

None of this excuses the ADA, but it seems your observations may be incomplete.