Harris moves to beef up petty crime prosecutions
Citing a spike in misdemeanor case dismissals, District Attorney
is calling on the city to hire up to five new prosecutors to handle
petty crime cases.
By Brent Begin
May 2, 2007
Citing a spike in misdemeanor case dismissals, the San Francisco
district attorney's office is calling on the city to pay for more
prosecutors to handle petty crimes.
According to the office, prosecutors are currently assigned 300
misdemeanor cases at any given time in San Francisco Superior
Court, which means prosecutors have a hard time keeping up with
There are currently up to nine prosecutors working on misdemeanor
cases. District Attorney Kamala Harris is looking to hire five
Currently, three felony prosecutors have been reassigned to assist
with petty crime.
Misdemeanor cases include quality of life violations such as
graffiti, petty theft, encampments, aggressive panhandling and
Other misdemeanor cases include gun crimes, domestic violence,
assaults on children and adults and driving under the influence.
"Our misdemeanor team is the city's front line on quality
of life offenses and many other serious matters charged as misdemeanors,"
Harris said in a statement. "We're taking these cases all
the way to trial to get the right results, but we need a lot more
trial attorneys if we're going to hold the line."
According to the district attorney's office, San Francisco deals
with more than nine times the statewide average in misdemeanor
"This staffing shortage is a public safety issue and cannot
continue," Harris added.
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