Criminal convictions in Santa Clara County are rising along with a higher caseload of serious and lesser crimes, the district attorney said Monday at a ceremony in San Jose.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen, speaking at an awards ceremony to about 200 deputy district attorneys, crime investigators, staffers and family members at the County Government Center, praised his employees as "great people with a well-deserved reputation for excellence."
"I like watching you keep the oath of office" he said. "What you are doing in court is crucial to the well-being of the people in our state."
Felony cases increased 15 percent and misdemeanors were up 30 percent in the county in 2012 over the previous year "and our conviction rates remain very high," Rosen said.
The district attorney, elected in 2010, pointed to a number of convictions the D.A.'s office won last year under tough circumstances, such as the one in April of Jason Cai for murdering a 32-year-old woman in 2008, for which prosecutors traveled to China to obtain evidence.
He also cited convictions obtained last year in a 2005 former cold case murder, a case of man who seriously wounded a 13-year-old girl in a drive-by shooting and a former school principal who failed to report the possible sexual abuse of a second grade girl by a teacher.
Another highlight of the year involved his office's prosecution of the largest methamphetamine bust in the U.S., where Palo Alto police working on a stolen iPad case found 750 pounds of the drug in an apartment in San
Rosen said the office also prevailed in a number of fraud cases, such as a San Jose family whose home-care facility illegally cashed Social Security checks of 12 elderly and disabled victims and a company that sold a phony diet with "flavor crystals" spread on food.
The office burnished a reputation of fairness with criminal
defendants, Rosen said, including one case last year when a deputy district
attorney realized a defendant had been wrongly charged and got him out of
After the awards ceremony, Rosen said, "I think what is seeping through our office is pursuing justice in a way that's fair to everyone, treating everyone with respect."
The winners of the 2013 Santa Clara County District Attorney Office's Awards were:
Crime Lab Lowell W. Bradford Achievement of Excellence: Trevor
Legal Support Award of Excellence: Raven LaBuguen
Robert Drexell Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Investigator: Jeff Mock
Paralegal Excellence Award: Duane Shewaga
Robert L. Webb Award for Misdemeanor Trial Advocacy: Tamalca Harris
Clayton L. Haupert Excellence Award for a Non-Trial Advocacy: Kaci Lopez
Napoleon J. Menard Award for Trial Advocacy: Luis Ramos
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