Drug-case prosecution steered back on track 

No more drug dealers will be walking free on the streets of San Francisco — at least in relation to the recent crime-lab fallout.

On Tuesday, District Attorney Kamala Harris said no more cases were being dismissed that are directly tied to the lab scandal in which about 750 drug cases were dropped after it was revealed in early March that Deborah Madden, a former criminalist, had allegedly been stealing cocaine from evidence.

In addition, the district attorney reviewed the cases that were called into question because Madden’s criminal past related to a domestic violence case was never disclosed to defense attorneys, which is required under the Brady policy.

Later, it was revealed that other Police Department employees have criminal records that were never disclosed. That list of officers with checkered pasts has yet to be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office, Harris said.

“We will wait to see what happens in terms of the Brady list we will get from the Police Department, but as it relates to the Madden cases, we believe it is [over],” Harris said at a news conference where she introduced her new management team.

The District Attorney’s Office has evaluated the dismissed cases with the full intention of refiling them based on new outside testing.

“Once the investigation into the SFPD crime lab is completed, we will know the outcome and proceed accordingly,” said Erica Derryck, spokeswoman for the office.

Of the cases that were dismissed, Harris said her office has learned that Madden testified in seven since her domestic violence conviction.

She said that her office has sent out letters to defense attorneys inviting them to challenge Madden’s role in roughly 1,700 cases dating back to 2005, Harris said.


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Erin Sherbert

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