Prosecutorial Misconduct is Now a Felony in California

One of, if not the most, frequent occurrences of prosecutorial misconduct is withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense; which prosecutors are required by both law and ethics to share. The state of California has taken this “bull by the horns,” and made withholding evidence by prosecutors a criminal felony.

Under the new law, prosecutors who alter or intentionally withhold evidence from defense counsels can face up to three years in prison.

EVERY one of the remaining 49 states needs to follow this example. This is a major step in establishing the kind of accountability prosecutors MUST face if we are to ever achieve the necessary level of ethical conduct on the part of prosecutors.

See the reason.com story here.

 

14 responses to “Prosecutorial Misconduct is Now a Felony in California

  1. The Family of Brian Peixoto

    This should absolutely be a law in each and every state. It’s the only effective deterrent. Sentencing should be stronger. Let the prosecutors serve time comparable to the sentences served by the innocent people they willfully and maliciously sacrificed. MA Bristol County Superior Court Judge (former prosecutor) Renee Dupuis should serve the 20+ years that Brian has served and continues to serve for a crime he did not commit. Her day will come.

    • To the Brian Peixoto Family, Your courageous, well-informed comment telling a first hand experience is a great public service. Thank you. Yes, once the prosecutors have to face the same draconian sentencing they want for the defendants, you’ll see wrongful convictions evaporate along with all the $$$$’s. Isn’t it time to end this career-building, politicized “gravy train” called the criminal justice system?

  2. Excellent news. And, as you say, here’s hoping the other states follow California’s example.

  3. Mr. Locke, Thank you for kicking off a 2017 campaign for serious reform that would save hundreds and thousands of innocent lives and families torn apart in the culture of “convictions at all cost” politically-driven mentality.

    • … not to mention the billions of dollars in wasted taxpayers’ $$$$’s! Contact your legislators demanding the same law – Prosecutorial misconduct is a felony!

  4. Brady v. Maryland has only been around for the past 50 years. It’s about time that it’s taken seriously.

  5. José Covarrubias

    To whom it may concern:

    This is a case of injustice and a gross miscarriage of justice of 16 years in the making.

    My brother Jorge Armando Covarrubias, CDCR T23089, was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 30 years to life under the terms of an unknowing and involuntary plea bargain.

    Jon A. Divens SB 145549, my brother’s trial counsel just admitted he used my brother’s inability to understand English to improperly advised him to enter into a plea bargain of 30 years to life, for a crime he did NOT commit.

    The Honorable Lillian Vega Jacobs, former District Attorney who prosecuted the case presented an affidavit stating that she observed my brother hesitant and reluctant to enter into a plea of guilty, and that she did not believe that Jorge would accept such plea, because that is not a plea at all.

    We have tried unsuccessfuly for 16 years to prove the truth and we don’t know what else to do. All our atempts to show the truth have been denied, due time limitations.

    My brother attests that the court intérpreter Cecilia Alcaraz never explained to him the truth in Spanish about court proceedings nor about such plea bargain. He was unable to understand because at that time he was complete iliterate un writing and speaking english.

    At this time we are trying to obtain a declaration from the Court intérpreter, but we have no concrete answer from her. She is afraid of something.

    In the last conversation I had with her, she informed me that the Los Angeles’ County District Attorney Office told her to avoid problems, “Keep her mouth shut,” and not to answer my emails or phone calls. However, we continúe with our figth to show the honest truth. The truth that my brother’s language inability was used against him, and his due process rights was violated. A right well protected by the California and US constitutions.

    Jorge told me that all he wants is to show the truth, that he is innocent of the charges, that he did not sign nor agree to accept such plea bargain, and to be deported to México.

    Honorable Governor we are requesting your help to find justice for my brother. We have proof, tangible evidence to show the truth.

    My brother’s case:

    https://www.change.org/p/edmund-g-brown-jr-justice-for-jorge-a-covarrubias?recruiter=526207631&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=whatsapp

    People of California vs Jorge Armando Covarrubias. Superior Court of California VA061911.

    Thank you José Covarrubias

    Indice Index7.pdf

    Indice Index6.pdf

    Indice Index5.pdf

    Indice Index4.pdf

    Indice Index3.pdf

    Indice Index2.pdf

  6. José Covarrubias

    Your brother’s fingerprints were found at the scene and he made a video taped confession -not understanding the technicalities of his plea bargain do not negate compelling evidence of his guilt.

    The appeal court judgement records that your brother “admitted that they took guns into the house, he was one of the shooters, and ―we shot like crazy.” http://scocal.stanford.edu/opinion/people-v-covarrubias-34515

    He is not innocent just because he didn’t get the bargain he thought he was getting.

    • Jose Covarrubias.

      Christy Walsh.

      I respectfully disagree about your senseless comment. My brother is Jorge A. Covarrubias, from Los Angeles. Please, please don’t talk hate. What proof do you have to declare that? Please read the comment from the attorney Deirdre O’Connor. Thank you.

  7. Christy Walsh, You and Jose are talking about two different cases. Jose’s brother is Jorge Armando Covarrubias and his case is Los Angeles Superior Court of California VA061911. The case you are referencing is a Monterey County Case and the defendant is Daniel Sanchez Covarrubias.

    • Jose Covarrubias.

      Dear Attorney O’Connor:

      I really appreciate your comment. Some people are full of prejudice and talk hate. The truth and justice are close.

  8. It is one very real problem in California’s Justice System gone wrong, i have seen first hand prosecutors who have lied, submitted altered and false evidence and gave already convicted criminals a “Pass” if they would testify falsely.

    San Luis Obispo County,CA has one of the worst conviction rates in the entire state, the misconduct has occurred with several deputy DA’s, DA investigators and several police who have committed perjury, used drugs, stole money, stole drugs, use prostitutes.

    San Luis Obispo Police Dept. has had more officers charged, fired, charged (When the Feds get involved) corruption is the new norm under a out of state new Chief of Police who believes, the police are ok to lie, steal, make false arrests etc.

    The local Sheriff’s Dept. as well has the highest rate of unexplained Murders and suspicious deaths while in custody. Just with in the past 18 months officers have been slowly departing the SLO PD as well the Sheriffs office, honesty. ethics, integrity, rule of law are all missing in San Luis Obispo, CA a place were you can NOT trust or believe the Police.

  9. Jose Covarrubias.

    To whom it may concern:
    This is a case of injustice and a gross miscarriage of justice of 18 years in the making.
    My brother Jorge Armando Covarrubias, CDCR T23089, was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 30 years to life under the terms of an unknowing and involuntary plea bargain.
    He was arrested and booked on October 08, 2000 by Assault with a Deadly Weapon California PC 245 (A) (1). Court records clearly shows that during a court hearing at the Downey, California Court, Jorge declined a plea bargain of 12 years while being represented by the Los Angeles Public Defender Craig Purcell and assisted by the court interpreter Lucia Daley. However few days later at the Superior Court of Norwalk California, while being represented by Jon A. Divens, SB 145549, (DISBARRED), and assisted by the court interpreter Cecilia Alcaraz, he supposedly agree to enter into a plea deal of 30 years to life.
    Jorge’s conviction and sentence was obtained by fraud and duress. Because the court’s proceedings prior to the “Plea hearing”, during the “Plea Hearing” and “Sentencing hearing” were inaccurately translated by the court interpreter Alcaraz and for the benefit of my brother.
    Jorge was convicted and sentenced by the Hon. John Torribio, under the terms of an unknowing, unintelligent and involuntary plea agreement for the charges of Second Degree Attempted Murder PC664/187 (5 years) plus the gun enhancement, 12022.53 (d)(25 years too life). Total= 30 years to life.
    Jon A. Divens SB 145549, my brother’s trial counsel just admitted he used my brother’s inability to understand English to improperly advised him to enter into a plea bargain of 30 years to life, for a crime he did NOT commit. Divens was disbarred by the Supreme Court of California.
    http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/145549
    http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/08/05/prosecutor-closes-book-bsu-investment-scam/87968326/
    The Honorable Lillian Vega Jacobs, former District Attorney who prosecuted the case presented an affidavit stating that she observed my brother hesitant and reluctant to enter into a plea of guilty, and that she did not believe that Jorge would accept such plea, because that is not a plea at all.
    We have tried unsuccessfuly for 18 years to prove the truth and we don’t know what else to do. All our atempts to show the truth have been denied by the courts due to the statute of time limitations.
    My brother attests that the court intérpreter Cecilia Alcaraz never explained to him the truth in Spanish about court proceedings nor about such plea bargain. He was unable to understand because at that time he was complete iliterate un writing and speaking english.
    At this time we are trying to obtain a declaration from the Court intérpreter, but we have no concrete answer from her. She is afraid of something.
    In the last conversation I had with her, she informed me that the Los Angeles’ County District Attorney Office told her to avoid problems, “Keep her mouth shut,” and not to answer my emails or phone calls. However, we continúe with our figth to show the honest truth.
    The conviction and sentence of 30 years to life against my brother, was not the result of a fair trial, an impartial tribunal, and of a due process of law, but was the direct consequence of raw prejudice of his trial counsel, of the interpreter Cecilia Alcaraz, of the deceased probation officer Daniel Crespo, and from the complicit silence of all the public officers of court who were present at the hearings, and were full aware of my brother’s language disability, but they remain mute during the commission of a great injustice, as to deduce that the constitutional rights of fair trial and due process of law resulted in an empty charade in this case. As a simple matter of humans my brother deserved more than to stare in total incomprehension as he was wrongfully sentenced to spend his life in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit and an illegal plea of guilty. For instance in 1970, it was set the following presedent.
    https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/1382185/united-states-ex-rel-negron-v-state-of-new-york/
    Jorge told me that all he wants is to show the truth, that he is innocent of the charges, that he did not sign nor agree to accept such plea bargain, and to be deported to México.
    To declare that my brother, an immigrant functionally illiterate in English, that received a false translation of court’s hearings and represented by an incompetent counsel, should be in prison serving a 30 years to life in silence, IS NOT ONLY PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL, BUT IS A CLEAR INJUSTICE, not only for him, but on the fairness, integrity and public reputation of the state and national systems of justice as a whole.
    A defendant’s Guilty Plea that was the product of such factors as misunderstanding, duress or misrepresentation by others; the Guilty Plea is constitutionally defective and an inadequate basis for imprisonment.
    https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/107951/boykin-v-alabama/
    https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/109648/blackledge-v-allison/
    Please see the exhibits attached as links.
    My brother’s case:
    People of California vs Jorge Armando Covarrubias. Superior Court of California, for the County of Los Ángeles. Norwalk Court. Case # VA-061911.
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5PlSgKwCcLdX01hWjg3Zk90V1E
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5PlSgKwCcLdUUFyNXpNcktiMFU
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5PlSgKwCcLdQTg5LVBVRi10eGc
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5PlSgKwCcLdd0dETFBXRW9LeTA
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5PlSgKwCcLdd2pWY1ltdlZwcmc
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5PlSgKwCcLdVEttRGNjSkQ3clE
    Thank you for your time.
    José Covarrubias

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