CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Boycotting of judges nothing new to DA"

This interesting story in yesterday's San Diego Union Tribune:

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.

Boycotting a judge is seen by some as ham-handed attempt to intimidate or even bully judges. It is done by using a peremptory challenge — a legal move available to prosecutors and defense lawyers — to block a new case from going to a particular judge. A specific reason does not have to be given. The challenge can also be used in a limited form, such as only on serious felony cases.

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