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The Chronicles of Justice
May 2015
Yolo County District Attorney Newsletter
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From the Desk of the DA

Public Safety Leadership: Developing our Future Leaders at Yolo DA
 
The wheels of justice seem to be spinning at an ever-increasing rate these days. Radical changes in California’s criminal laws and shifting crime trends have kept us as busy as ever in the District Attorney’s Office.  With everything going on, it would be easy to lose focus on our ongoing need to develop and mentor our staff, and the future public safety leaders of this office.  Fortunately, we have continued to make this pursuit a priority in 2015. 
 
Just a couple of examples of our ongoing work in the critical arena include:
 
Leadership Development Speaker Series – Yolo DA sponsors ongoing presentations by successful public safety leaders from throughout the region on topics such as “Ethics in Public Service” and “The Challenges of Change.” The office also has a space on our website dedicated to leadership development where we post relevant articles and links on the topic and staff can be alerted to the new posts.
 
Mentoring Program – Yolo DA developed an internal mentoring program that connects newer staff with more experienced veterans in the office for casual discussion and support. Organized events and program guidelines have helped encourage these important relationships and the program is off to a robust start.
 
Ultimately, our ongoing efforts to train and develop our staff and future leaders is helping to ensure that public safety in Yolo County will continue to be in good hands for years to come. 

 
My Legal Internship Experience
 
The Yolo County District Attorney's Legal Internship Experience is one of a kind. The Legal Intern Program supervised Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven has had over 100 interns over the last 9 years who have logged over 40,000 hours. They do amazing work and gain invaluable experience. Here is the testimonial from Alexandra Myers a legal intern from our Spring 2015 Semester.

My yearlong internship at Yolo DA was definitely the highlight of my legal career thus far. From the moment I began working at Yolo DA I was welcomed with open arms, treated as an equal, and truly and genuinely appreciated. What sets Yolo DA apart from other offices is that you are immediately treated as a member of the team.
 
My sentiments regarding the general friendly and welcoming demeanor of the office was continually reinforced through intern appreciation parties, such as ice cream socials, a birthday card from Jeff Reisig, District Attorney, and lunch and coffee breaks with attorneys in the office, including Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney. The atmosphere is one of good-humored camaraderie, where a dull day at the office just simply does not exist.
 
The experience provided to me through my internship at Yolo DA redefined what it means to me to be a legal intern. We were not simply assigned clerical or administrative work, but instead, were thrown into the life and career of a trial lawyer, conducting legal research, writing motions, assisting at pre-trial conferences, and arguing in court. We were also included in office functions such as continuing legal education training, Christmas parties, birthday parties, brown bag lunches with the judges, the Victim Tribute Ceremony, the Citizen’s Academy, and much more.
 
Another unique aspect of Yolo DA is their mentorship program. Every intern is assigned an attorney to mentor them, and advise them on any questions that should arise. However, we were always encouraged to bounce ideas around with other attorneys in the office, and quite often they would come to us asking for our opinion and feedback on the cases they were working on. This is just one other example of how we were not simply personal assistants, but were lawyers in training, and our opinions were treated as such.
 
Throughout the course of my internship I was able to observe countless trials, many of which were the subject of national news headlines, and see Yolo DA’s exceptional advocates in action. While as a law students we are familiar what it means to conduct voir dire, opening statements, direct-examinations, cross-examinations, and closing arguments, and perhaps have even tried our hand at it through mock trials, the internship at Yolo DA gives you the unique opportunity to learn from experienced trial lawyers firsthand. 
 
An internship at Yolo DA will set any law student leagues above their colleagues. Nothing compares to the real world experience of researching and drafting legal memoranda and motions. Most importantly, the opportunity to argue motions in court as a law student is an invaluable and thrilling experience that every future prosecutor should try as early as possible in their legal career. In the end, this experience taught me how to practice and apply the knowledge I learned in law school, showing me what it means to be a dynamic lawyer.  
 
- Alexandra Myers
  McGeorge School of Law 

 
Drug Related DUIs
What do the stats say?


Driving under the influence is no longer just about alcohol. Drug impaired driving possess a significant risk to the safety of other motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), during a 2013-20014 alcohol and drug survey, 15.2% of nighttime drivers were found to have illegal drugs in their blood; 7.3% had potentially-impairing prescription drugs in their blood. Overall, the percentage of nighttime drivers who tested positive for drugs increased from 16.3% in 2007 to 20.0% in 2013/2014. During that time frame, drivers testing positive for marijuana (THC) increased the most significantly from 8.6% in 2007 to 12.6% in 2013/2014, a 47% increase. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, a 2009 NHTSA study found that 18% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drug. 

Some of the most common drugs that are associated with traffic collisions are marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and cocaine. Drug-impaired driving is DUI. Just because it is prescribed to you or recommended to you, does not mean you can safely operate a vehicle while under the effects of the drug. The safest way to ensure you don't put yourself or others in harm's way is not to drive while using medications or drugs. 

Here are some of the links with the stats for drugged driving:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving
http://www.madd.org/statistics/

The link below is about the rise in Marijuana related fatals:  
http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/marijuana-news-759/fatal-car-crashes-involving-pot-use-have-tripled-in-u-s-study-684515.html


This article has lots of links to studies. 
http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Research+&+Evaluation/Alcohol+and+Drug+Use+By+Drivers

By Deputy District Attorney Matt De Moura


Fallen Peace Officer Memorial

On Tuesday, May 12th, the Yolo County District Attorney's Office held its second annual Fallen Peace Officers Memorial Walk to Remember. This event is held at the Fallen Peace Officer Memorial located on the grounds of the historic Yolo County Courthouse. The Walk to Remember began with an opening ceremony, initiated by the Yolo COunty Honor Guard, and ended in a walk that went from the Courthouse located on Court Street to the Heritage Plaza, located at the corner of Main and Second Streets. Deputy District Attorney's Matt De Moura and Kyle Hasapes lead the walk and carried a law enforcement-themed flag that was black and white, with a single blue stripe; honoring those officers who sacrificially gave their life to protect our community.

Winters Police Department Officer Jose Ramirez read the names of those who have fallen in the line of duty from Yolo COunty before a crowd, which filled the area in front of the Courthouse. Pastor Scott Montgomery, of the New Testament Church and also a Woodland Police Department Chaplain, offered the benediction.

The Yolo County Retired Peace Officers Association spearheaded the effort to get a memorial erected to honor the officers who died in the line of duty in Yolo County. The monument came to fruition in the spring of 2013. 

Yolo County has edured the loss of 11 of its community protectors since 1912.
The following Yolo County Peace Officers were honored:

California Highway Patrol
Officer Andrew Stevens: November 17, 2005 Gunfire
Sergeant Gary Wages: March 15, 2001 Vehicle Collision
Officer William Freeman: December 22, 1978 Gunfire
Officer Roy Blecher: December 22 1978 Gunfire
Officer Ivan Casselman: Agust 24, 1935 Motorcycle Collision

Yolo County Sheriff's Office
Deputy Jose "Tony" Diaz: June 15, 2008 Gunfire
Deputy Walter Leinberger: November 18, 1943 Gunfire

Winters Police Department
City Marshall William Rice: October 18, 1912 Gunfire
West Sacramento Police Department Officer James McKnight: June 16, 1990 Gunfire

Davis Police Department
Officer Douglas Cantrill: September 7, 1959 Gunfire

Woodland Police Department
Officer Lawrence SIlls: June 13, 1945 Motorcycle Collision

By Chief Investigator Rob Strange
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