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The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of the Herring Trial

The GoodThe Good . . .
The all-woman prosecution team of Deputy DA Marianna Lebedeff, investigator Lorea Archibald, and victim advocate Miriam Gaon was awesome! Lebedeff knew her case well, and fought hard on judicial rulings. Kim Ramming's family, in Gaon's expert hands, was treated with dignity and respect. In addition, the team was warm and welcoming to the Purple Berets, an uncommon occurrence under Mike Mullins' previous reign as DA.

The Bad . . .The Bad
This was our first real look at Judge Boyd, who is relatively new on the bench. He seemed indecisive and, in a pinch, tended to agree with the voice that sounded most like his (i.e., male). Hopefully with more experience he'll be a stronger jurist.

Yet again, sloppy police work. Rohnert Park police failed to even write a report on a June 5th call by Ramming reporting that Herring had threatened to kill her and members of her family and wouldn't leave her apartment.

They also failed to gather significant evidence at the scene of the July assault and, for the most part, were incredibly weak and unknowledgeable on the witness stand.

San Rafael police must not be much better. Their investigation of the terrorist threats report consisted of interviewing only Herring. They never bothered to contact Kim Ramming!

The Ugly ...
The UglyAbsolute winner in "the ugly" category was Judge Boyd's ruling that kept out evidence of a prior attempted sexual assault by Herring on a San Francisco prostitute. Clearly relevant in this case, the testimony should have come in via the SFPD police report. But Boyd ruled "the victim's credibility was in question" because and only because she was a prostitute. Thus the jury was not to hear of Herring's prior sexual assault charge.

(They did, however, hear really creepy testimony by Herring's ex-wife that he had drugged her, then shaved her pubic hair while she was unconscious.)

"Herring's Harem," a bevy of ex-girlfriends who came to court regularly, hung on his every word, testified as his expert and character witnesses, and tried to get the Purple Berets' laptop thrown out of the courtroom!

Hothead Paisan graphics © 2003 Diane Di Massa

June 2003


© Tanya Brannan, Purple Berets
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