Prosecutor’s Investigator Attacks Defense Attorney
So, prosecutors and some in the public like to ridicule defense attorneys for doing their jobs and protecting people accused of crimes. Then we read in the news today how an Investigator (a cop with a gun and a badge) working for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office physically attacked a defense attorney in a courthouse.
It was reported that while the defense attorney, James Crawford, was trying to speak with his client and advise him of his rights. An investigator form the D.A.’s office was interfering and refusing to back off. Then, when the defense attorney brought up the misconduct of the D.A.’s office, illegally withholding evidence about jailhouse snitches, the Investigator went ballistic rushing the defense attorney and beating him. The Investigator, whose name has conveniently not made into the news, yet, had to be pulled off the defense attorney by Santa Ana Police Officers. Now, the Sheriff’s Department is investigating.
This story is so disturbing for some many reasons.
- First, the Investigator should not have been anywhere near a lawyer talking with his client. That conversation is privileged. Any first day cadet at the police academy would know that. If it had been me talking with one of my clients I would have told the Investigator to back the f*!# off or I’d go get a Judge to order him to.
- Second, yet again, another example of law enforcement using violence against an unarmed person. People need to wake up to reality. There have ALWAYS been allegations of police brutality. Today, when everyone has a video camera on hand because of cell phones, time and again we are now catching these episodes on camera and finding out how the police abuse their authority and then lie about it. How many times have innocent people been attacked by cops and since there wasn’t a camera nearby, there was no justice. The reality is that most cops are good people, who sometimes lose it and there are also some cops who are simply bad. Two types of people try to become cops, One type is the man or woman who wants to help out and take care of their community. The other type is the man or woman on a power trip who wants the gun and the badge and the authority. They are dangerous time bombs waiting to go off like the thug D.A. Investigator.
- Third, the Sheriff’s Department is investigating. Cops investigating cops. Hearing nothing else, that makes you wonder how thorough the “investigation” will be. Then you read in the news articles where the President of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has already said the defense attorney’s account is a “one-sided version” of what happened. Way to build up the public’s trust that this violent cop will be held accountable.
- Fourth, the client the defense attorney was talking with had just been awarded a new trial after it turned out the prosecutors had illegally withheld evidence about jailhouse snitches. And, apparently, it has been doing so for the last 30 years. It was the defense attorney mentioning that scandal that triggered the Investigator to lose it and attack him. How many people have been convicted who shouldn’t have been? Jailhouse snitches are about as worthless and unreliable source for the truth as conceivably possible. Druggies, thieves, gang bangers, whatever their crime, they get the chance to get a get out of jail free card from a prosecutor f they say what the prosecutor wants to hear. Even if they are not flat out told what to say, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the prosecutor wants to hear, “He said he did it.”
- Fifth, the District Attorney’s Office is maintaining that none of its people knowingly did anything wrong dealing with the jailhouse snitches. So, is that another lie or do you just hire and train incompetent lawyers to prosecute your cases? This attack and the underlying corruption that it is connected to once again points out two things that few people want to acknowledge, much less address. Cops do sometimes violate people’s rights, commit crimes, use violence and lie. Prosecutors, knowingly or just because they don’t really want to know the truth, sometimes are more interested in getting a conviction than finding out the truth.
Unlike many jobs, trial lawyers are competitive. The better you are, the better the chance you will win. And, yes, both prosecutors and defense attorneys look at it as winning and losing. But, when a prosecutor cheats or doesn’t really want to get to the truth, it is not just losing a game. An innocent person is going to prison. And, that may be the most horrendous thing that can happen.
San Diego Defenders (619) 258-8888