Today, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the UC Irvine School of Law, and former California Attorney General and Los Angeles District Attorney John Van de Kamp were among the three dozen former prosecutors, legal scholars and organizations who called on the Department of Justice to investigate the “crisis” in Orange County.
Essentially, during an extensive, year-long evidentiary hearing in a capital murder case, it became clear that the Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office were both violating the constitution through their practices with informants, and also lying about it, even under oath.
Now, as the letter states, “[a]s of the writing of this letter, it is fair to say that the criminal justice system in Orange County is in a state of crisis.” The signators call on the Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation.
Dean Chemerinsky and Mr. Van de Kamp are joined on the letter by many other prominent legal minds including former Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, Harvard legal theorist Charles Ogletree, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney Richard Drooyan, criminal justice scholar Professor Angela Davis, and Harvard professor Alex Whiting, a former prosecutor of international crimes at the Hague and a former federal prosecutor.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Constitution Project, the National Association of Public Defense, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the ACLU of California, with support from ACLU National, also joined in the letter.
Stay tuned for further developments.