David Wise takes on San Francisco's District Attorney Kamala Harris and top prosecutors
Below you will find San Francisco Law News relating to David Wise and Wise Defense. From San Francisco DNA News to Bay Area Criminal Defense pieces and Legal Cases, you will get an idea how Attorney David Wise goes to bat for his clients. These bits of San Francisco Legal News will give you an idea of how effective David Wise is with legal procedures and how well he understands the law. Each client benefits greatly from David Wise’s many years as a San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney, his knowledge of the law environment in San Francisco, his enthusiasm and genuine desire to understand and help each client as if they were family.
Defense Pokes at DNA Lab in Rape Case
April 28, 2010 The Recorder, By Kate Moser
In a rape case that's set to go to trial in two weeks in San Francisco
Superior Court, defense attorney David Wise is hoping to dig up
vulnerabilities in DNA testing done at the city's crime lab. So far, an
evidence-tainting scandal at the lab has been focused on narcotics
Wise started asking the prosecution for information on recent and ongoing audits for the DNA section earlier this month, pointing to two cases where what he calls "highly unusual instances" of contamination took place. In response, prosecutors gave him about 1,000 pages of documents last week related to the crime lab's DNA unit. Wise wants to cast doubt on evidence that deals with an earlier incident allegedly involving his client.
The discovery "is material to the reliability of the DNA results which purport to identify this defendant as the perpetrator of crimes," Wise wrote in an early April letter to Kin Tong, a prosecutor in the office's sexual assault division. "Evidence of a lack of reliability of the DNA results here may result in exclusion of the evidence by the court, or rejection of the evidence by a jury."
That letter cited two separate instances in which DNA of crime lab analysts showed up in results of defendants' DNA tests. One of those analysts was the same one who tested DNA in his client's case.
Wise said he followed that letter with a discovery motion. The day of a scheduled hearing on it, the DA's office turned over the 1,000 pages of material from external and internal audits of the crime lab, he said.
"It was kind of the most basic request for accreditation material that you could think of," Wise said. He added that the case is on for a follow-up hearing Thursday.
Police Chief George Gascon said last month that he had asked the state to audit the forensic biology section of the crime lab, and that the audit would take place in mid-April. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the department said a news conference in the "near future" would address that audit, though he said he couldn't elaborate.
Meanwhile, in federal court on Tuesday, San Francisco criminal defense attorney John Philipsborn filed a pre-sentencing discovery motion in a gang murder case in which Deborah Madden had testified at trial about drug evidence. Madden is a former criminalist at San Francisco's crime lab and a central figure in the evidence-tampering scandal.
Among other things, Philipsborn is asking for any evidence related to the credibility of testimony by San Francisco drug analysts who testified at his client's trial. His motion also noted the discovery that Wise is pursuing on the DNA part of the lab, and notes that a bloody T-shirt in his client's case was analyzed at the S.F. lab.
A police spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Reached late Tuesday, a spokesman for the district attorney's office said he wouldn't be able to reach the prosecutor on Wise's case or respond by The Recorder's deadline.
DEVELOPING STORY: On Tuesday March 10, 2010, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Police Department Chief George Gascon, ordered the shutting down of the San Francisco Crime Lab, after revelations that lab technician Deborah Madden had stolen and used cocaine that she was supposed to analyze. A link to an article about this is here. In conjunction with this it has been learned that the entire San Francisco Crime Lab failed its re-accreditation test administered by the American Association of Crime Lab Directors, Laboratory Analysis Board, in November of 2009. A link to the ASCLD/LAB Inspection Report is here. The report indicated that the lab failed in several "essential" areas applicable to all parts of the lab, including a failure of cleanliness and of a system establishing a chain of custody. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone with a San Francisco drug case since 2007 should consider if there are grounds to revisit their case. Anyone with any crime lab evidence including D.N.A., blood or breath test D.U.I. evidence, needs to carefully consider the role the crime lab played in the case and act accordingly. More documents related to this are found at the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Website.
February 2, 2010: "Gun Possession Felony Case Dismissed After Judge Grants David Wise's Motion to Suppress Illegally Seized Evidence: On Feb. 2, 2010, in Department 10, San Francisco Superior Court, a Defendant was released from jail and went back to his job after facing over three years in State Prison. The Prosecution wanted the accused to plead guilty to the felony and go to state prison for sixteen months. Defense Lawyer David Wise file a Motion to Suppress Illegally Seized Evidence, and the judge granted it, ruling that the search by police was over-broad, where the defendant lived in the same house as a man on parole. Police could search the parolees living area, but not this Defendant's . (Case name and information withheld in the interest of client confidentiality.)
February 11, 2010: Court Grants David Wise's Motion to Compel Discovery of S.F.P.D. Crime Lab's D.N.A. Testing Error Log: On Feb. 11, 2010, in San Francisco Superior Court, a complete, unredacted error log (called a "Corrective Action Log" by the Crime Lab), as well as compete records and computer analysis for two incidents of contamination, was ordered produced to criminal defense lawyer David Wise in a sexual assault case. The order was the first time that the San Francisco Police Department's Crime Lab, D.N.A. Lab (Forensic Biology Section) has had to produce its entire error log, further demonstrating the fallibility of its use of D.N.A. testing in criminal cases. (Case name and information withheld in the interest of client confidentiality.)
January 17, 2010: San Francisco Judge grants attorney David Wise's motion for supervised Sheriff's release with electronic monitoring to a residential drug treatment program, under Penal Code section 4004. The client faces mandatory state prison due to the number and type of drug convictions in his record, but due to his maturity, and the special supervision of the program which David Wise got the client in to, the Court ordered him released over the Prosecution's objection. (Case name and information withheld in the interest of client confidentiality.)