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SF public defender seeks gag on DA's office

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Claiming top prosecutors bad-mouth homicide defendants in an effort to sway future trial jurors, the San Francisco public defender's office is asking for a gag order on the district attorney's office.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/1lP6jyr ) that District Attorney George Gascon has taken issue with comments made to the press by Assistant District Attorney Scot Clark about upcoming cases.

For example, Clark referred to a 30-year-old defendant awaiting trial for a killing on a Muni light-rail vehicle as a “cold-blooded hunter.”

The motion argues that the DA's office is violating State Bar rules against attorneys making statements that have a likelihood of materially prejudicing a trial.

The DA's office called the unusual request unconstitutional, saying it has merely passed on information already in the public record.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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