OC District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wants Harvard to retract unflattering repor…


The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is calling on Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project to retract a report that ranked Orange County among the worst in the state for cases reversed in which misconduct was a factor.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, at a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 13, said several mistakes were made in the Fair Punishment Report that gave an unfair and inaccurate picture of his agency.

Rackauckas said his office had two cases reversed because of prosecutorial misconduct in the six-year study period, making it 16th in the state per capita, not No. 1 as initially reported per capita by Fair Punishment.

He also said his office had 18 findings of misconduct, ranking it 22nd in the state per capita, not fifth per capita as reported by Fair Punishment.

“The public is being misled about the record and the integrity of OC prosecutors by relying on an inaccurate study using the name of Harvard Law School to gain undeserved credibility,” said a statement released by Rackauckas.

Rob Smith, executive director of the Harvard project, said he would not pull the report, which was updated Monday, Sept. 11, because of earlier programming errors. In the updated version, Orange County ranks fourth in terms of reversals per capita related to misconduct by prosecutors.

“We stand by our work,” Smith said. “There’s a bigger problem in OC than we thought there was when we started the report.”



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