Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bonnie Dumanis likes uncorroborated jailbird testimony

Why does this Voice of San Diego story not surprise me?

A wrongful conviction is better than no conviction at all, right, Bonnie?

Hushing the Jailbirds
by Will Carless
The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that legislation approved Thursday by the California Senate would limit prosecutors' ability to rely on testimony from prison inmates to obtain convictions.

Essentially, the Mercury News reports, the legislation would require prosecutors to corroborate testimony from inmates with an independent source who is not incarcerated. That’s motivated by the worry that inmates could be tempted to lie and help prosecutors in order to get themselves more lenient sentences.

In an e-mail, a spokesman for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office said the local DA "disapproves in principle" of the legislation. Here’s what the spokesman, Steve Walker, wrote:

The California District Attorney's Association (CDAA) has taken a "disapprove in principle" stance on SB609, a position that the San Diego District Attorney's Office agrees with.

Here’s an extract from the story:

Making it more difficult to convict using such testimony was recommended by the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, which has reviewed the causes of wrongful convictions.

The bill passed 25-10.

Friday, May 18 2007

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