Man Acquitted of Multiple Sex Charges After 2 1/2 Hour Jury Deliberation

San Francisco, CA – On December 3, 2008, after two and a half hours of deliberation, Cristino Ortiz, 42, was acquitted of three counts of lewd acts on a child under 14. Ortiz was the live-in boyfriend of the mother of two girls, aged 11 and 12. On the day of the incident in question, […]

What to Expect From Your Lawyer/Know Your Rights

A client guide to the criminal justice system, explains the process and what one can expect from their appointed public defender.

Good Samaritan Arrested in RAT Sting Found Not Guilty of Grand Theft in 40 Minutes

San Francisco, CA – On Wednesday, November 19, Redai Meresa was found not guilty of misdemeanor grand theft after 40 minutes of jury deliberation. After working his typical ten hour day, Redai Meresa was headed home when he attempted to help a seemingly poor, homeless man with an alcohol problem. The man had $30 protruding […]

The City Needs a Comprehensive Reentry Program

Today, more than 500 community leaders, community and faith-based service providers and formerly incarcerated men and women will gather for San Francisco’s third annual re-entry summit, “Reentry Works.” Re-entry is a term that describes the reintegration of former prisoners back into their community. This year’s summit focuses on the greatest challenge faced by many of […]

San Francisco City Officials and Residents to Tackle Prisoner Reentry and Employment at Summit

San Francisco, CA – On Monday September 29, 2008, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, District Attorney Kamala Harris, and Sheriff Michael Hennessey will convene at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the largest reentry summit in Northern California. The Summit was organized to tackle the problem of parolee recidivism, a main […]

Senator Barack Obama Issues Statement Supporting Prisoner Reentry Summit

In a welcome statement for the Third Annual Prisoner Reentry Summit, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) commended San Francisco city leaders for their “innovate work to reduce recidivism” and pledged to create opportunities for former prisoners if elected president.

Juvenile cases are closed for a reason

In the several articles published last week concerning undocumented youths in the juvenile justice system, Chronicle reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken referenced statements taken from a confidential written motion filed by one of my attorneys. In the articles, several statements taken from these filings were framed in quotations. This gave readers the false impression that Deputy Public Defender Lisa Katz, who is representing the minor, spoke with your reporter regarding her client’s case.

California Selected for MacArthur Foundation Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network

California has been selected as one of four sites nationally to participate in the Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network. The initiative, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is aimed at developing innovative solutions and strategies to better address the legal needs of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

Public Defender’s Office Co-Sponsors MAGIC’s 5th Annual Backpack Giveaway

On August 23, 2008, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office will co-sponsor the Fifth Annual MAGIC Back-to-School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway. This year, 4,000 backpacks will be distributed to children and youth ages 5-17 in Bayview-Hunter’s Point and the Western Addition/Fillmore.

Behavioral Health Court on KQED: Crime and the Mentally Ill

KQED’s “Forum,” with Michael Krasny, takes up the issue of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. “Forum” looks at new programs designed to help police and the courts avoid dangerous confrontations with the mentally ill. These programs are designed to steer the mentally ill toward treatment, instead of a life of incarceration. Judge […]

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