Monday, November 30, 2009

Is DA Bonnie Dumanis bullying a judge who was apparently appalled by evidence tampering?

DA Bonnie Dumanis boycotts Superior Court Judge John Einhorn
By Staff, City News Service
Sunday, November 29, 2009

Without explanation, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has been steering cases away from Superior Court Judge John Einhorn, it was reported Saturday...

Any time a case is assigned to Einhorn, prosecutors use a legal tactic called a peremptory challenge to block the case from going to the judge. Under the law, each side has one such challenge when assigned a judge. They do not have to state a reason for doing so, the Union-Tribune reported...

It is rare, though not unprecedented, for prosecutors to boycott a judge...

Einhorn has been at the center of two high-profile cases in San Diego over the past year. Sommer was convicted of murdering her husband, Todd, in 2007 by poisoning him with arsenic. She was granted a new trial in November of that year.

Then in April 2008, new evidence was discovered — tissue samples of Todd Sommer that showed no traces of arsenic — and that led to prosecutors dismissing the case.

[Maura Larkins note: This proved that evidence used in the first trial had been tampered with.]

The retrial had been assigned to Einhorn. Allen Bloom, Sommer’s lawyer, pressed for the case to be dismissed in a way that would preclude prosecutors from ever charging Sommer again.

That legal battle went on for more than a year, with prosecutors at one point telling Einhorn he had no authority to even hear the matter. Einhorn disagreed and said state law allowed him to consider the unusual request...

Eventually, Einhorn sided with prosecutors. On Sept. 25, he declined to permanently bar another prosecution of Sommer, but openly said he doubted the case would ever come to trial again.

It was around that time that the challenge apparently went into effect. Bloom said he doubted that the move stemmed from the Sommer case, because he said Einhorn ruled against him on most issues.

Still, Bloom said the move smacks of an effort to bully the judge...

1 comment:

South Bay said...

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