After a series of misconduct allegations against the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, including the suspension of one prosecutor by the California State Bar Association, District Attorney Jeff Rosen has created a full-time Conviction Integrity Unit.
The new department fulfills a campaign promise Rosen made to properly train prosecutors and to evaluate past cases where a miscarriage of justice has been alleged.
"Integrity is central to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. We will protect defendants' rights, even as we justly prosecute them. For a prosecutor, the ends never justify the means, we do the right thing, and we do it the right way," Rosen said in a March 17 statement.
Rosen has tapped veteran prosecutor David Angel to head the unit. Angel graduated from Harvard Law School with high honors and has extensive experience both as a prosecuting attorney and a reformer within the office, the DA's office noted.
Angel helped draft the county's eyewitness-identification protocol, which is considered a model around the state. He was instrumental in the county's calling for the recording of suspect interviews in violent crimes.
Angel also participated in an internal office investigation that resulted in the exoneration of a man wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit.