Over Prosecutor's Objections, Judge Says He Is 'Compelled by Law' to Release DNA Lab Memo

A judge rejected a prosecutor's pleas today that he reconsider his decision to release a controversial secret memo criticizing the San Francisco Police Department crime lab, stating that he is “compelled by law” to share the document with defense attorneys.

In his rulings, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charles Haines also gave some indication as to how the memo on DNA-testing lapses at the lab could affect the murder trial where it is now slated to be entered as evidence — and why he changed his mind about the document after ruling just a day earlier that it was not relevant to the case.

At one point, the judge even hinted that the information he had reviewed might contain evidence of dishonesty or criminal behavior by prosecution witnesses. “I want to emphasize: I am compelled by law to rule this way,” he told Braden Woods, chief of the criminal division of the district attorney's office.

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