For months now, an unexplained edict from District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has forbidden county prosecutors from bringing new criminal cases before one particular Superior Court judge.
What gives? Can the DA just wave her hands and — voila! — a judge is blackballed? Yes.
It’s that simple, and it’s apparently been done before here.
But there are risks to boycotting a judge, and one expert suspects that Dumanis won’t play this card for long.
“I don’t think the office can afford to waste this free challenge in every single case,” said Jan Stiglitz, co-director of the California Innocence Project.
He’s referring to what he calls a “freebie” — the opportunity for a prosecutor or defense attorney to reject a judge in a criminal case without specifying a reason. It’s known as a peremptory challenge.