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Law & Justice

Criminal Justice Conversations with David Onek: Jeffrey Rosen, Santa Clara County District Attorney

Jeffrey Rosen and David Onek

In Episode #24, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen discusses creating a Conviction Integrity Unit to investigate past cases with alleged misconduct and provide training to prevent future misconduct, his new policy on medical marijuana dispensaries, the importance of transparency in officer-involved shooting investigations, and more.

Jeffrey Rosen Interview Highlights:

Rosen on Creating a Conviction Integrity Unit:

“The reason it is so important for a District Attorney’s office to have a Conviction Integrity Unit is sometimes there’s mistakes made in the criminal justice system. It’s a system made up of human beings -- from police officers to witnesses to prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges. And sometimes there are mistakes. And I think that it’s very important that just because a mistake may have been made five or ten years ago and someone perhaps was wrongfully convicted or received a sentence that they should not have received, we should go back and fix that. So, I think it’s part of having an ethic in the office of sort of continuous quality improvement.”

Rosen on Instilling Ethics in Prosecutors:

“We’re really trying to instill in our prosecutors the idea that it’s not just getting the conviction, although the conviction is very important to get, but it’s how we get that conviction. What was the process? It’s our responsibility as prosecutors to treat everybody professionally and respectfully, and to protect defendants’ constitutional rights even as we vigorously prosecute them.”

Rosen on the Community’s Perception of the DA’s Office:

“I have one foot in the office and one foot in the community. The perception that the community has of the DA’s office directly affects our ability to get justice -- to put criminals away, to protect people’s rights, to give people confidence in what police officers and prosecutors are doing. “


The Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast with David Onek features in-depth, thirty-minute interviews with a wide range of criminal justice leaders: law enforcement officials, policymakers, advocates, service providers, academics and others.

The Podcast gets behind the sound bites that far too often dominate the public dialogue about criminal justice, to have detailed, nuanced conversations about criminal justice policy.

Podcast host David Onek is a Senior Fellow at Berkeley Law School and a former Commissioner on the San Francisco Police Commission.

You can find more information on the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast and listen to all past episodes on the Podcast web site.

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