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|Santa Clara County, CA||June 6, 2006 Election|
The District Attorney and Law Enforcement
By Karyn SinunuCandidate for District Attorney; County of Santa Clara
This information is provided by the candidate
I pledge to be both independent from and collaborative with county-wide police departments and the Sheriff.The District Attorney must be able to work closely with the police, with confidence and trust. At the same time, she is obligated to maintain independent judgment at all times. I will build on the solid foundation of collaboration that currently exists between my office and the police departments and Sheriff.
I am proud to have worked in collaboration with the 13 police chiefs and the Sheriff to create
On another note, prosecuting police officers who commit crimes, on or off duty, is difficult, because it invariably tests our agencies' relationships. But the District Attorney cannot flinch from her obligation to the community at large and to the brother and sister officers serving with honor and distinction, who must be spared unfair taint from other officers' misconduct.
In the most sensitive situations in recent years, when police departments throughout the county have brought us their officer-involved cases, it was I who made the difficult charging decisions. It is no coincidence that I am the only candidate to endorse open hearings in officer-involved shootings.
When making the decision whether or not to charge a police officer with a crime, we consider all the relevant, admissible evidence and weigh that against the presumption of innocence and our burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and ask: what is the likelihood of a jury verdict of guilty? We are mindful that jurors have an instinctive inclination to trust police officers and therefore are generally harder to convince that an officer has committed a crime.
So we are especially prudent in our charging decisions in police officer cases. And the results - 90% conviction rate - demonstrate that those charging decisions are well-considered.
In sum, I pledge to collaborate with law enforcement to continue to make innovative progress in the administration of justice and to make the tough, independent decisions necessary to protect the community.
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