Supes to Prod State for $2 Million in Defense Costs for 'San Francisco Eight' Murder Case

This just in: Public Defender Jeff Adachi has persuaded a few members of the Board of Supervisors to help his office recoup millions of dollars in defense costs racked up in the failed prosecution of eight alleged former militants charged with murdering a San Francisco police officer in 1971.

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Sergeant John Young
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In September, SF Weekly reported that the state owed the city $1.7 million to defray the legal fees of the eight defendants, all of whom have relied on the city public defender's office for attorneys. (Because of conflict-of-interest rules, the public defender hired 13 outside lawyers in the case.) The charges were brought by the state attorney general's office -- and not by San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris -- and Adachi insists that the state must reimburse the city as a result.

According to a statement released by Adachi's office this evening, Supervisor David Campos and Supervisor Eric Mar will introduce a resolution tomorrow urging the state to cough up $2 million in reimbursement money. (That's higher than the $1.7 million we reported as of September, based on city records.) Adachi has also asked State Sen. Mark Leno to introduce special legislation to recoup the money.
 
"This prosecution was initiated by the state. It's only fair that the state bears the cost of the defense," Adachi said in the statement.

The case involved eight former members of the Black Liberation Army, a 1970s radical group, who prosecutors said stormed the Ingleside police station in 1971, shooting and killing Sergeant John Young. But the case against the men collapsed, resulting in dismissed or reduced charges against seven of the eight. (The last defendant, Francisco Torres, still has charges pending in San Francisco Superior Court.)

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