After taking office in 2007 as the first woman to serve as Santa Clara County's District Attorney, Carr soon ran into a buzz saw of controversy over her decision not to prosecute several De Anza College baseball players for sexual assault in a widely publicized case. Although her decision may have been correct, she admits that she did not adequately explain her reasoning to the media and other interested parties.
More black marks occurred when some of her deputies were accused of prosecutorial misconduct for withholding evidence from defense attorneys, and when her husband, a retired San Jose Police lieutenant, became a consultant in a case that is likely to be prosecuted by her office.
Another issue has erupted over her decision to blackball Superior Court Judge Andrea Bryan for what Carr considered a bias against prosecutors.
For candidate Jeff Rosen, these and other missteps by Carr are what convinced him to run against his boss, who has lost the support of more than half the deputy prosecutors in her office. They have endorsed Rosen, as has former longtime former DA George Kennedy, and a majority of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, which constitutes a serious loss of support for Carr.
Rosen has spent 15 years as a deputy district attorney, and now handles mostly high profile murder cases, including some that carry the death penalty. He is known as a tough prosecutor but says he has dismissed murder cases when he thought the defendant was innocent.
Rosen promises to institute a number of reforms to the DA's office, including bringing back the cold case and conviction integrity unit that Carr dropped. He says he also would make sure deputies share evidence with defense attorneys, and begin a policy that all supervising attorneys carry a small case load, to keep them involved in the prosecution process.
Although Rosen lacks experience managing a large operation like the DA's office, which has a staff of 500, and an $85 million budget, he has been successful as president of Temple Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, where he oversaw a large budget and staff.
In our view, Jeff Rosen will bring a fresh, no-nonsense approach to the District Attorney's office. The DA's office has suffered under Delores Carr, who simply has made too many mistakes. Rosen is a mature, seasoned prosecutor who has the support of more than half his colleagues, a majority of the county bar association and former DA George Kennedy.
We recommend Jeff Rosen for Santa Clara County District Attorney.