July 7, 2015
By Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO —
The California Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors aren’t required to help defendants fight their criminal cases by reviewing the personnel files of police officers serving as witnesses.
The ruling Monday upholds the review process San Francisco and about a dozen other California counties use when preparing for criminal trials. Police review boards — rather than prosecutors — are tasked with reading investigating officers’ personnel files for evidence of misconduct or bias that could help exonerate criminal defendants.
The case at issue involved a San Francisco man accused of domestic violence. Prosecutors told defense attorneys that information in the files of two police officers being called as witnesses may contain evidence of misconduct or bias.
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