Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is facing bidders for the first time since being elected more than a decade ago.
Santa Clara County Attorney General oversees a department of 620 employees, 190 of whom are plaintiffs. The DA is filing charges against people for criminal and civil offenses, ranging from murder and fraud to domestic violence and drug trafficking. During the Rosen era, the firm dealt with media cases, including charging a former district superintendent for theft of public funds; Three prison cops who murdered a mentally ill prisoner in prison; And former Stanford athlete Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
There is enough bad blood between Rosen and his opponents. Deputy Public Defender Sajid Khan criticized Rosen’s approach as a prosecutor, including a post that has now been deleted, in which Khan accused Rosen of disproportionately prosecuting black and Latino people. Rosen responded by filing a complaint against whistleblowers, which he later retracted, claiming the blog posed a threat.
The other candidate running for office is Daniel Chung, a former DA deputy in Rosen’s office. Chung claims he was taken on administrative leave – and then fired – for writing critical articles about Rosen. Chung is suing his former boss for alleged retaliation.
The winner of the election will have to deal with an increase in violent crime in San Jose, as well as with increasing public pressure to find alternatives to incarceration. Below are the three candidates running for a district lawsuit in alphabetical order.
Former Santa Clara County Attorney, Daniel Chung’s platform is largely defined by his opposition to Rosen’s leadership style.
Chung, 33, grew up in Milpits and then attended Harvard College for a bachelor’s degree before graduating from Columbia Law School. He joined the Bronx County Prosecutor’s Office, New York, and then took a job with Santa Clara District Attorney in 2018, where he prosecuted violent and domestic violence offenses.
As a prosecutor, Chung said he would focus on law enforcement and prosecuting crimes, prioritizing victims’ rights and scrutinizing cases to ensure the ministry prosecutes only people who deserve to be prosecuted. He envisions a vertical system of claims, in which a plaintiff monitors a case from beginning to end, and makes sure that the cases are resolved quickly. Unlike the other candidates, Chung believes a prosecutor’s role should not include legislation.
“It is not appropriate for the prosecutor’s office to spill over into other arenas that are not our core responsibility,” Chung told San José Spotlight. “Before we can truly accept the ability and effectiveness of truly being leaders in social justice, we must first take our central responsibility in criminal law seriously.”
Chung argues that some of Rosen-backed criminal reforms, such as Suggestions 36 and 47 – which, respectively, re-amended the country’s three-strike law and reclassified drug possession and petty theft offenses for misdemeanors – have led to an increase in crime. Chung said the prosecution office has limited capacity to resolve the county’s mental health crisis, but noted it would be useful to continue to refer non-violent and low-level offenders to treatment programs.
Chung received approvals from the Los Gatos Police Department and Gilroy Council members Dion Bracco and Carol Marx. As of January, his campaign had raised $ 13,331.
“He has been in office for more than 12 years without a candidate, and he is not interested in renewing,” Chung said. “I really want to push our office to the next frontiers and be a leader both locally and nationally. I’m full of hope and I think we can do a lot better, so that’s why I’re running for a change.”
Sajid Khan, Sajid Khan, the long-term deputy public defender, wants to lead the firm he has been dealing with in court for more than a decade.
Khan, 39, attended school in Santa Clara and San Jose before going to the University of Berkeley as an undergraduate student and then to the University of Hastings, where he earned his law degree. He worked briefly as a Deputy Public Defender in the province of Contra Costa before joining the Public Defender’s Department in Santa Clara County, where he worked for nearly 14 years.
Khan said he wanted to put an end to mass incarceration and cure systemic racism, while ensuring responsibility for people who caused serious damage. Khan said as a district attorney that he would not post bail in cash or three strikes and charges of reinforcing gangs, and he would hold police accountable for illegal acts. He also wants to expand drug treatment and mental health diversion programs.
“It’s not enough to punish damage, we need to address the root causes of the damage to create long-term safety in our community,” Khan told the San José Spotlight.
Similar to the incumbent, Khan said he would use his position to push for legislation on criminal law reform. Khan said he would push to end the death penalty and adopt a policy that would end the disproportionate incarceration of people of color.
Khan appointed between his credentials to Assemblyman Alex Lee, working families part of California and international service workers at the United Health Organization. As of January he had raised $ 239,837.
“The incumbent president’s punitive response to crime for harming our communities has perpetuated mass incarceration, harmed colored communities and not made us safer,” Khan said. “It’s time for our county to have a county prosecutor that reflects the values of Santa Clara County voters, and I believe I am that person.”
Incumbent District Attorney Jeff Rosen is running for another term because he believes people in Santa Clara County approve of his balanced approach as a prosecutor.
Rosen, 54, completed his undergraduate degree at UCLA before earning a law degree from UC Berkeley. After working in litigation litigation for several years in Los Angeles, Rosen joined the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office in 1995, where he was elected to a Ph.D. in 2010. His wife is a former U.S. assistant attorney and currently serves as a Santa Clara County judge. . Supreme Court.
Rosen said he differed from his opponents because of his experience and ability to take a measured approach to prosecuting crimes. He cites his support from law enforcement and the head of the San Jose / Silicon Valley NAACP as examples of his ability to work with various stakeholders in the criminal justice system. He noted that during his tenure, Santa Clara County has set the lowest crime rate of any major U.S. county, and that his office has helped achieve this by prosecuting violent and repeat offenders and providing information to the community.
“If you’re just striving for public safety or you’re just striving for reform, you do not accept any of them, and the people who oppose me are only pursuing one of those things,” Rosen told the San José Spotlight. “But when you have a report like I had, with a balanced approach that vigorously pursued public safety and criminal law reform, you can achieve those two things.”
If re-elected, Rosen said he would prioritize reducing crime by continuing to prosecute repeat violent offenders, while expanding the scope of the preventative community, such as finding ways to help teens finish high school. Rosen said he would keep incarceration as low as possible, noting that rehabilitative facilities are a way to divert criminals at a low level. He also said he would work to increase trust between law enforcement officers and the people they serve, noting that his office already uses community prosecutors to communicate with residents in high-crime neighborhoods about their public safety needs.
Among Rosen’s supporters is Santa Clara County Superintendent Cindy Chavez, Assemblyman Owen Luo and the San Jose Police Department. As of January, Rosen had raised $ 485,483.
“Vote for District Attorney Jeff Rosen because of his proven leadership and the reform that works,” Rosen said.
Contact Eli Wolf b [email protected] or @ EliWolfe4 On Twitter.