tv [untitled] September 23, 2011 7:30pm-8:00pm PDT
trust, checks and balances, accountability. very cornerstone of our justice system. we need to turn over what we have said the defense can do their jobs and prosecution achieve justice at the end of the day. >> the question is what we will do about police misconduct as a district attorney? you investigate the case. if you have the evidence, you prosecute the individuals. i have prosecuted police officers>> i think police offic, above all else, do not want a dirty cop in their presence, it is not good for anybody. they are held to a higher standard. we should hold them to a higher standard. i am independent, i am not beholden to anybody. i did not have any concerns. i will honestly and fairly
prosecute police officers as anyone else i have found violated the laws. >> the san francisco crime lab scandals, recently, a local newspaper, they conducted an audit of san francisco's dna procedures. both the newspaper article said the police department and the da's office have suppressed that report. how can the san francisco criminal justice system go about having -- we will start over here. >> in terms of the crime lab and the dna labs generally, i would turn it over to an independent
agency has, given all the scandals and the continuing news stories that come out every single day. we need an independent crime lab that was adequately funded. in the last few days, there is a lot of talk about the memo. and the d.a. said in a debate last night that he had given it to defense counsel according to a story today that the defense council said that they had not, in fact, seen in. they do not know what is happening and his court rooms. those are the only two explanations that we can come up with >> they say that the memo is confidential. he was working for the san
francisco district attorney. if it is not confidential, they should release it to the public. if it is confidential, it is up to the district attorney to release a: not. why do we have a crime lab that belongs to the police? san francisco should have an independent crime lab that is headed by scientists. the uno a police officer that is smarter than a scientist? there are some, but not too many. their focus should be on law enforcement, not science. we have a problem having an independent judiciary. in-house they are in there sniffing cocaine into stealing cocaine, we need to get rid of that. it needs to be independent and we have to deal with this year. >> he actually trained me, and when i took over his job, the
memo that he wrote was to test to examine the procedures that are used to the late ray and the murder dna. as we're talking about here about brady, there is no confidentiality exception. as b.a., i would not be covering it up, i would be fixing it. we need to fix it up, not a cover-up solution. that entire lives could be called into question. i hope that doesn't happen, but is much more than handing it over to the defense attorneys. they determine whether or not a live is accredited. that was the story i told you.
>> it would be preferable to have an independent live than one associated with the district attorney's office for the police department. if we can do it in this economy, that is another thing. the district attorney may have an excellent police chief, but he doesn't go to court. there was a discussion about eyewitness identification a moment ago. i was in court today. i found out by talking to one of my colleagues that the defendant was acquitted of the murder case. what was the defense? they do take cases to trial that are based exclusively on eyewitness identification, and after a lengthy trial, they
don't get a conviction. because he is not a practicing lawyer, he does not have any right to be in that position. >> and this was presented to a judge in court, and the judge determined that this memo was not brady material. further, there was an additional staff with the city attorney that has also reviewed it. given that we have a court that has stated very clearly, we have advice from the city attorney, we are taking back accordingly. >> we will go in reverse order. if evidence showed a police officer intentionally falsely testified about having probable cause to search, would you prosecute them for perjury?
>> ps. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> over one else in marijuana houses make a significant portion of the criminal caseload. what are your views on these types of cases, and would you agree to a policy where cases with less than a certain number of plants be treated by the first offense? >> if they are growing marijuana for the use of medicinal under proposition 215, then we should educate these people that are growing and. it must be going to dispensaries that we have in the city. we shouldn't clogged up the courts with marijuana a
prosecution. we should focus on public safety, irreparable physical harm. with marijuana, it is unbelievable. every street has a store. why are we busting people when we have the store every other street that is selling marijuana? i wouldn't even bring them in, we have to find real solutions regarding marijuana. proposition 215 has been around since 1996. >> i am committed to doing what works for our city. prosecuting people with addiction issues is not an effective response. i like to see people that have possession diverted rather than put behind bars. we need to really look at what the root of the marijuana issue is. i am committed to having it
removed from schedule one because i think it doesn't belong there. because we can have a cannabis club, if someone is driving it to the club, they can be arrested for transportation and if they are growing it, they can be arrested for cultivation. there is an incongruity. i am committed to that kind of comprehensive reform. >> the war on drugs has been lost a long time ago. we should entertain ourselves with a discussion. as it relates to your question, marijuana and grow houses are unfortunately dangerous because they are fire hazards. they are prosecuting them in san francisco and they are prosecuting them as felonies. i was able to convince the deputy district attorney to reduce it to a misdemeanor.
and and i would try to do something unique in get the attorney's office involved. perhaps the city attorney can take action against them. they are making a lot of money. they're causing actual fire hazards. it is low priority. which should instruct the police officers not to focus on that unless it becomes a danger to the community. >> drug use should be treated as a health issue. we are working with a lot of the licensed clubs to try to continue to evolve and the policy the city create to support the club's operating with a license. we want to make sure that we protect the people that are working with and the lot and are using safe methods of providing medicine to the clubs. at the same time, we have to
evaluate individual growers and determine what is the appropriate course of action. we are increasing the number of cases we are sending because we know that when drug abuse is the underlying reason for the crime, we can be very successful. in-house whereas when we kill people, only failed by 70% of the time. >> of the war on drugs is failed. i love the onion headlined before it became more popular, "drugs win drug war." that sums up where we are. i have said on the record that i support the legalization of marijuana of the live prost -- though i opposed 215 the cuddly have to do it the right way.
a felony or a misdemeanor that is supported by the counties of norfolk. i put out a statement supporting that bill. in terms of your issue of whether there should be an option for misdemeanor, absolutely. again, the medical marijuana community is very strongly behind me. look at who is supporting me in you'll see who has the real drug policy. >> i believe 100 percent of crime is committed standing up. as a matter of practicality, a political hot button measures don't work. we have the right to use and enjoy our city sidewalks and parks, but we need to do
something that is a long lasting concrete solution. i support focusing on programs like the community justice center. early deal with not just of the symptom, but the cause. that we have a concrete solution that lasts through time. san francisco deserves better than that. we have world-class programs, great nonprofit organizations. let's deal with these issues and by expanding the diversion court and doing something that works rather than prosecuting people that are sitting down. >> as an elected member of the committee, i voted against the resolution or proposition that was on the ballot. if unlike some of my colleagues , it will cause a great deal of people being incarcerated, it is
highly unlikely under the sheriffs. there are many other laws the police officers can use. he didn't even have to be creative. people that are causing a disturbance, blocking sidewalks, engaged in inappropriate conduct can be moved along and if necessary, arrested. these are one of those feel-good legislation is. i was opposed to its. i am still opposed to it. it is unnecessary and there would be no reason to prosecute individuals. >> i was one of those that supported if and it is working very well. if you talk to the people working -- and looking for assistance, it was never intended to be a tool to incarcerate people. it is often used as a gateway.
i am glad that they agreed to do the things that we are already doing. people are committing offenses where they are driven by mental health problems and drug abuse problems. there is nothing humane about leaving people on the sidewalks unattended. people in victimizing others need to be attended with. working together with our members of the community, dealing with problems that are real as opposed to when we talk about in this the satiric or theoretical debates where people have very little experience. >> i oppose and continue to oppose sit lie. it never works. look at three strikes or prop 21. it is no way to make criminal
justice policy. someone violating the law is committing critical tax and should be dealt with. for someone violating the law, i will not prosecute those cases. we should look at the version for people that need services, people that need support. it does not serve a purpose. i said the day before the election, we will have the same problems on the streets of san francisco. >> it is very vague. it is most likely pre-empted by state law. what do i mean by that? what if you had a law enforcement officer like his
enemy, why does this person not want to walk around looking for illegals? in he can start picking on people. it is unconstitutionally vague. look at people code 647. if they are blocking the road or blocking a someone's door, call the police. bring the men, arrested them. it is already pre-empted. this problem is not unique to san francisco. that is why the state is taking care of that. >> they do direct filings. this puts a juvenile as young as 14 years old into the court system?
>> i think it is inappropriate to file rather than the district attorney's offices. i've believe, as i said, it would be more for them to do it in that particular manner. most of the crimes are committed by young males. the juvenile justice department gives us the opportunity of changing people. there is a big difference. in the rare case, somebody has a long history has more crimes of that nature. she is acting as an adult.
>> generally, i am opposed, but there are times where you have cases where you have a juvenile and adult committing crimes. we had a case involving a german tourist late last year that we are prosecuting now, where the evidence would of been compromised if we have a slick, -- prosecution. >> i will not direct file under any circumstances. he evidence is clear that trying juvenile as adults does not make us safer. juvenile the good of the adult system and do much worse when they come back out and have much higher rates of recidivism. there are cases that are. we should go to the judge in the
very rare cases where we want to bring a juvenile to an adult court. the probation department and the public defender can weigh in on other options. i will not direct file under any circumstances. >> my first language was vietnamese. and that i learned english. i can't follow the logic of saying a juvenile as an adult. a juvenile is a juvenile. an adult as an adult? give me a definition. if you look at the rich and the privileged, you ever see that movie "stepbrother? these guys are 40 years old, oh, my baby. and some 14-year-old, some orphan, is an adult? make
clear, make the definition clear. it should be based on age. tell me what age you want me to prosecute as an adult and i don't care who your daddy is. if he is under that age, he is a juvenile. >> justice is in the gray. nothing is ever black and white. we need to have a much more effective response. does do everything we can to stop our kids from getting into the juvenile justice system in the first place. the other is a judge to do that. there were a enough partners brought to the table.
they were all there, health education focusing on the best response. it has gotten federal funding and is an effective way to deal with highly -- to look at how we deal with kids in the system. at the end of the day, you want somebody experienced. i will only exercise in extremely isolated circumstances. >> another lightning round question. regardless of your earlier answer about reporting adults to immigration authorities, would you follow a policy of not reporting juvenile to emigration and to adjudication? >> we need a conviction first. >> i'm against any reporting. >> that's yes. >> yes. >> no. >> yes.
>> use of community courts or collaborative courts from minor crimes face challenges because of budget concerns. there has also been a criticism for such evidence like privatizing criminal justice. what are your views on these concerns? >> i am concerned any time that you privatize the justice system. i would be against privatizing criminal courts. i know it is often done in the civil arena. take san francisco, we are losing between 20 and 22 court rooms. that will impact primarily civil courts. in criminal cases, i will be opposed to it. >> i am completely opposed to privatization or anything else
like that. privatizing his and the answer. >> privatize criminal court? that would be unconstitutional does like the neighborhood courts in the community courts. they are unconstitutional. i have the subject matter. we live in a state, the state constitution gives them the authority with the subject matter. it cannot be stipulated. who knows how much money is being bled out there? if you look at these statistics, san francisco, it is not a giant court. we can do if in a proper authority and the proper subject matter jurisdiction.
we can do this. >> i think the community court is another example of the campaign season dealing with the highly sensitive issue like quality of life crimes. many rightfully say it is privatization because it doesn't bring all of the essential partners to the table. you need your most experienced dna and your most experienced prosecutor. and to partner with wraparound services to you can deal with the cause rather than the symptom. >> this question has taken on two separate issues. privatization is wrong. you should not be dealt with by people in our contract to the south. as far as community courts, i met with three candidates that did not know at that time. one of the conversations about
community courts. it is really no big deal. under the situation where people prefer the diversion type situations, at least not to the extent they have locally. it takes care a lot of the problems they use it much more effectively. >> history has shown a number of a wrongful convictions have been based upon the testimony of jailhouse informants. what, if anything, will you do to ensure against false testimony? >> i strongly supported that legislation and i am glad that
it passed. we need to be very skeptical of this testimony and put in all of the proper procedures. even in concert with other evidence, we need to be very skeptical. again, the job of the d.a. is to do justice, not to convict. we need to make sure that our evidence is completely reliable. >> and his use of incentivized witnesses is a terrible practice. these people are in jail for a reason and they become self interest. we talked about getting witnesses from the jail. and we should know exactly what is going on in these jails. people go into jail and they don't come out. sometimes they died.
why should we know exactly what is occurring? we should know, just -- they don't have any right to privacy in jail. we should know the truth. maybe he is telling the truth. if he isn't, we know that that didn't happen. >> i think it goes to a training issue. you can put cameras everywhere you want, but at the end of the day, you have to teach how to do things right. i've been a leader in terms of training. i have conducted seminars and conferences around the country including hawaii. i testified at the u.s. senate to teach our legislatures. training is essential. i have trained a law-enforcement about what it means to corroborate testimony. and how you handle everything
from undercover operations to jailhouse informants. you have to disclose what you're doing and you have to back it out. that can only be done with cooperation. >> training is important, and you look at district of attorney candidates. as far as this new law, some of us know how to try gazes. some of us know when evidence is useless. by having that knowledge in hand, we can pass it on to others. the district attorney is somebody who has been there and done that. the district attorney doesn't have to go to court and try cases. the district attorney, him or herself, should be