Litigation » Tampering With Evidence Now A Felony In CA

Tampering With Evidence Now A Felony In CA

October 4, 2016

Businessman in handcuffs sitting at table, selective focus on hands

A new California law will make it a felony to tamper with evidence or hide exculpatory material from the defense. Previously, those acts were misdemeanors. Misdeeds by lawyers in the office of Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas inspired California’s legislature to take up the new law. Rackauckas’ office was removed from a high-profile case against accused multiple murderer Scott Dekraai after a judge said prosecutors repeatedly failed to turn over evidence. Dekraai’s attorney has argued that Orange County jailers have violated inmates’ rights for years with an illegal jailhouse informant program, and that prosecutors have concealed it. The scandal led to the collapse of cases against numerous defendants. The California District Attorneys Association opposed the bill, saying it was “an outrageous attempt to criminalize prosecutors for conduct that falls well short of criminal.”

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