A convicted violent sexual predator will get a new chance for controlled release from a state hospital because of prosecutorial misconduct, a state appellate court ruled this week.
Justices on the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana on Thursday overturned a lower court decision denying the release of convicted pedophile Steven Force. The justices said Force did not receive a fair trial on his request for release because the prosecutor hinted Force might be charged with perjury if he testified in his own defense.
“We still encounter cases where a prosecutor has lost sight of the one paramount goal: fairness. That’s a failure. Acquittals are not failures. Unfair trials are,” said the ruling written by Justice William Bedsworth. “This is such a case. The prosecutor here took his eyes off the prize just long enough to commit misconduct in a way that requires reversal.”