We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Riverside DA and Judge clash over controversial prosecutor's promotion

by Mary Shelton Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002 at 3:26 PM

When prosecutor Michael Rushton came under fire last summer for kicking off nine Black jurors in a capital murder case, his boss, Grover Trask was silent. Now, with his promotion of Rushton to supervise the drug enforcement division, his silence is broken.

Riverside County Superior Court James Warren, who works in Perris, took a personal stand against a decision made by District Attorney Grover Trask to promote prosecutor Michael Rushton to a supervisory position in the drug enforcement unit.

Now, he has been threatened with a possible investigation into his conduct by a state judicial watchdog group, by Trask. And a libel suit might also be in his future as well, simply for denouncing Trask’s decision to promote Rushton.

Last summer, Rushton allegedly kicked off nine Black jurors in a capital murder case. Two mistrials resulted, after presiding judge W. Charles Morgan challenged several of the expulsions, even placing one excluded Black juror back on the panel. Finally, the third attempt at jury selection was the charm, and two Black jurors were included on the panel.

Then, when Rushton appeared to put that controversy behind him, an earlier case returned to haunt him. In 1999, he had prosecuted four Black men, for conspiracy to commit a bank robbery and other charges. He had been assigned to the case, after the first prosecution ended in a mistrial, during the trial’s sixth week.

The second round occurred during one of Riverside’s most turbulent years, due to the shooting of Tyisha Miller, by four white police officers. Rushton kicked off numerous Black and Hispanic jurors, for a variety of very creative reasons, all attempts to sidestep the issue of race. Social Workers were no good, because they root for the underdog. Postal workers, no good because they are a stressed out group of workers, who could go...postal. The defense attorneys asked presiding judge Ronald Taylor to grant their Wheeler motions(which challenge any juror expulsion suspected to be based on race) but he denied them.

A decision he later regretted.

The four men were ultimately convicted.

By the time, the State Court of Appeals decided that four of the Wheeler motions should have been granted, three years had passed and everyone involved with the case claimed to have no memory of it. Except for Rushton, who delineated all his excuses for eliminating Black and Hispanic jurors. Taylor ultimately vacated the convictions and ordered a new trial, because due to collective memory loss, a thorough and just motion hearing could not be done. C.O.R.E. in Los Angeles sent a delegation up to Riverside to witness this controversy, firsthand, and they left determined to keep a closer eye on how the Riverside County Criminal Justice system does its business.

Throughout the controversy, silence emanated from Trask, which was not lost on anyone. In fact, his promotion of Rushton to a position that starts at $120,000 broke his silence on the issue. His defense of Rushton’s actions upon criticism by Warren spoke loudly as well. Is this his attempt at saying well done, or perhaps as some have said, is this his way of quietly keeping Rushton from using race-based jury selection in the future?

Most believe the former. But, many are amazed that Judge Warren did what is unheard of in Riverside and challenged a prosecutor on how he conducts his prosecutions.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy