CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Importance of, and Ways to Avoid, an Independent Judiciary

Today's San Diego Union-Tribune has the story:

San Diego Superior Court Judge John Einhorn, who has presided over many high-profile cases, including the Bird Rock Bandits trial and Cynthia Sommer saga, is under a boycott from the District Attorney’s Office.

For about two months, Einhorn has been under a “blanket challenge” by the prosecutor’s office. That means any time a case is assigned for trial 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 case then gets assigned to another judge.

When asked Wednesday about the boycott, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis issued a one-paragraph statement in which she called Einhorn a “well-respected jurist” but did not say what he had done to earn her office’s enmity.

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