Local attorneys and judges are mystified as to why San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis ordered her prosecutors to file peremptory challenges in all criminal cases assigned to the Honorable Judge John S. Einhorn. Judge Einhorn is known as a tough, smart judge who routinely handles complex, high-profile criminal matters. He has an excellent reputation in the legal community. So why would the D.A. want one of the best trial judges removed from hearing criminal matters?
Criminal defense lawyers speculate that the D.A. thinks this tough judge wasn’t tough enough in recently denying a defense attorney’s request to bar the prosecution from retrying a murder case. Yes – the Judge denied the request – but that apparently wasn’t good enough for the prosecution. The D.A. believes that the Judge should never have entertained the motion in the first place. Why? Because the hearing on the motion forced the D.A.’s office to defend allegations that exculpatory evidence, which resulted in a nullified verdict, was deliberately withheld from the defense. The D.A. would rather have avoided the hearing entirely by saying, in effect, “trust us, we didn’t cheat.” The boycott therefore appears to be retaliation against the Judge for Dumanis having to defend the conduct of her deputies. For now, the D.A. refuses to reconsider her boycott or give reasons why the boycott exists at all.