MEDIA ALERT: National Experts Call on Jerry Brown to sign legislation holding prosecutors accountable for misconduct in California

September 22, 2014

TOMORROW – Prior to the September 30th deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill No. 885, Assemblymember Ammiano (D – San Francisco), Barry Scheck, Founder and Director of the Innocence Project, wrongfully convicted Obie Anthony from Los Angeles, and defense attorney Rob Cary, well known for his representation of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, will host a press call to discuss the growing epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct and the need for AB 885.

When: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | 10:00 am

Dial-in Number: (213) 416-1560

Attendee Pin: 198 1131#

Credentialed media only

bie Anthony speaks to those waiting as he's released from jail FRANK STOLTZE/KPCC

Obie Anthony speaks to those waiting as he’s released from jail FRANK STOLTZE/KPCC

Assemblymember Ammiano, author of AB 885, will be available for questions after a short presentation at 10:00 am. Following the Assemblymember’s presentation, Obie Anthony, a man who served 17 years in state prison after prosecutorial misconduct led to his wrongful conviction in 1995, will share his story of injustice and how he is advocating today for criminal justice reform in California. Barry Scheck, Director of the Innocence Project, will discuss his experience in fighting for the wrongfully convicted and exposing prosecutorial misconduct.

Also available for comment and discussion will be Rob Cary, and Scott Sugarman, President of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, sponsors of AB 885. Cary, who recently released his book Not Guilty: The Unlawful Prosecution of U.S Senator Ted Stevens, is a partner at Williams & Connelly LLP in Washington D.C. He represents clients in civil and criminal trials and government investigations around the country.

Each speaker will be available to take questions from press following their statements.

Prosecutorial Misconduct, a growing issue in the United States, can happen to anyone – from United States Senator Ted Stevens to an average citizen like Obie Anthony. As recently as December 2013, Ninth Circuit judge Alex Kozinski warned of “an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land. Only judges can put a stop to it.” Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and colleagues are working to end this injustice in California by asking Governor Brown to sign AB 885.

For more information, see the Press Packet.

Contact: Morgan Carvajal | (916) 447-9719 |


Short Participant Bio’s

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D – San Francisco)

Tom Ammiano is a long-time San Francisco Democratic leader who has served the city nearly four decades as a teacher, civil rights leader, educator, Supervisor and now State Assemblymember. A native of New Jersey, Tom earned his B.A. from Seton Hall and his Master’s Degree in special education from San Francisco State University. He taught English to children in South Vietnam as part of a Quaker program until 1968, when he returned to San Francisco to become a public school teacher shortly after the Tet Offensive.

Since arriving in Sacramento, his work in the Assembly has been driven by the same belief in reform and good government as his time on the Board of Supervisors. His legislative priorities have included protections and rights for workers, the homeless, immigrants, youth and the LGBT community. He has continued to promote thoughtful legislation for the reform of medical marijuana laws. As the Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, he has been a key figure speaking out for research-based reform of California’s corrections system and criminal sentencing.

Obie Anthony

Obie Anthony III was convicted of murder and attempted robbery in 1995, despite the lack of physical evidence linking him to the crime. The prosecution relied on the testimony of John Jones, a convicted killer and pimp who ran a house of prostitution near the crime scene, to convict Mr. Anthony and his co-defendant Reggie Cole. At the age of 19, Mr. Anthony was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

On September 30, 2011, after an 11-day evidentiary hearing earlier in the month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kelvin Filer vacated Mr. Anthony’s convictions based on several constitutional errors including prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel and the false testimony of Mr. Jones. Mr. Anthony spent 17 years in prison before being released on October 4, 2011.

Barry Scheck, Partner, Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP

Barry Scheck’s more than thirty-five years of trial successes have earned him a national reputation. Barry’s criminal and civil trials have redefined and expanded the rights of victims of police misconduct and wrongful convictions throughout the United States.

In addition to his civil rights practice at NSB, Barry, along with NSB partner Peter Neufeld, cofounded and co-directs The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Innocence Project has been responsible in whole or in part for exonerating most of the over 300 men and women to be cleared through post-conviction DNA testing.

Rob Cary, Partner, Williams & Connelly LLP

Rob Cary has extensive experience representing individuals and companies before juries and judges in courtrooms across the country. Mr. Cary has defended clients against a broad array of alleged violations of both criminal and civil law. His criminal work has focused on complex federal cases, trials and investigations though he has tried criminal cases in state court. His civil practice has spanned a range of issues, with a concentration on professional liability defense.

Mr. Cary is well known for his representation of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, who was indicted on ethics charges less than 100 days before he was to stand for re-election. After eight months of tumultuous litigation, Senator Stevens was exonerated when it was revealed that the prosecution had hidden evidence from the defense that contradicted the prosecution’s principal theory. The American Lawyer described Williams & Connolly’s work on the case as “one of the best criminal defense performances in memory, resulting in a heightened scrutiny of prosecutors that will affect the Justice Department for years to come.”

Mr. Cary has also been involved in a number of high-stakes appeals, and represented clients in connection with criminal and civil investigations conducted by various government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and federal and state prosecutors.

Scott Sugarman, President of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

Scott Sugarman has unusually broad experience as a criminal defense attorney over his 37 years as an attorney. He is respected and very well regarded not only by the California and federal judges before whom he has appeared, but has the well-earned respect of the prosecutors who have been his opponents in the courtroom.

Scott Sugarman graduated from the University of Rochester in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts with Highest Distinction in political science and history, and received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1975. He is currently a member of the bar of the State of California, District of Columbia, and various federal courts, including United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

In 1989, he created Sugarman & Cannon with his law partner Christopher Cannon. In the 25 years since Sugarman & Cannon was created, Scott has represented clients charged with nearly every type of crime, including complex white collar crimes, murder, sexual assault and child molestation, tax fraud and evasion and domestic violence.