Sunday, February 28, 2010

Boycotting of judges nothing new to DA

Boycotting of judges nothing new to DA
At least three others targeted since 2003
February 28, 2010
Bonnie Dumanis took office in 2003.

When District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis quietly lifted a months-old challenge of Superior Court Judge John Einhorn late last month, it seemed that an uncommon event — the wholesale boycott of a veteran judge’s courtroom — had come to an end.

But Einhorn was not the first judge to have been singled out for such treatment by Dumanis.

Since 2003, prosecutors have targeted at least three other Superior Court judges for whole or partial boycotts.

Sources in the courthouse, the local defense bar and the District Attorney’s Office said all three were targeted shortly after they made rulings that the District Attorney’s Office apparently disagreed with. Two of those judges, Judith Hayes and William McAdam, no longer work in the criminal courts...

[Judge Judith] Hayes was boycotted just months after Dumanis took office in 2003. The former state and federal prosecutor now hears civil cases in downtown San Diego.

She was challenged soon after dismissing murder charges in the middle of a trial against Michael Savala, who was accused of fatally shooting two bouncers at a Bonita restaurant after the prosecution had presented its case. Hayes said the slayings were not premeditated murder but were committed in the heat of passion — “a classic voluntary manslaughter,” as she said.

Savala eventually pleaded guilty to that lesser charge and received a 13-year sentence...

No comments: