NEWS RELEASE

FROM: 
Dolores Carr, District Attorney-Elect   CONTACT PERSON: 
Dolores Carr, District Attorney - Elect
(408) 717-1416   For release on January 5, 2007     DISTRICT ATTORNEY-ELECT DOLORES CARR SELECTS VETERAN JUDGE, FORMER PROSECUTOR as CHIEF ASSISTANT   Kevin Murphy Twice Supervised Superior Court’s Criminal Division
San Jose, CA—January 4, 2007.  Dolores Carr today announced that Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy will serve as her Chief Assistant when she takes over the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office on January 8th.   Carr, the first woman ever elected to serve as county DA, says Murphy will “raise the standard of practice” in the office. Carr describes Murphy as “an accomplished professional with the ideal skills” to help her address ethical and other management issues in the office that clouded the last several years of her predecessor George Kennedy’s tenure.    Murphy has worked in Santa Clara County’s criminal justice system for 33 years. He started with the District Attorney’s Office in 1973, where he served 9 years before election to the Municipal Court in 1982. He has been on the Superior Court bench since 1989.  He was twice selected to supervise the court’s Criminal Division.   “Kevin was an exceptional prosecutor and a tireless worker,” Carr said. “His jury trial conviction rate was one of the highest in the office. But he did not have that win-at-all-costs mentality. He values justice.”   “I was proud to be a Deputy District Attorney in that office,” said Murphy. “It was an ethical, honest environment where attorneys were allowed to exercise their professional discretion.”   Carr said that when she joined the DA’s Office, Murphy was on the Municipal Court bench. “He carried that ethical, hard-working perspective with him. He has always expected lawyers to be prepared. He expects them to know their cases and to be accountable. He has a reputation for treating everyone who appears before him equally and fairly,” said Carr.   Carr said that Murphy shares her vision for the changes and management approach that the office needs, and that he has the professional qualities that she values most. “Two of the most important professional assets for this position are high ethical standards and knowledge of criminal law,” said Carr. “Kevin meets both criteria. He has great knowledge of our criminal justice system. And he teaches legal ethics.”   Murphy has been a professor of Ethics and Criminal Law at the University of Santa Clara School of Law for the last eight years.   Murphy said it is with “hopeful anticipation and enthusiasm” that he returns to the DA’s Office. “Prosecutors in this office are recognized as some of the best in the state. Last year's press coverage sadly tarnished how people view the office. I want to help restore the integrity of the office. High ethical standards should be the expectation," said Murphy.   “To create this environment, the DA will need to foster a culture that supports ethical decisions and actions,” Murphy said. “This culture will produce a cadre of confident, competent professionals operating with clear direction. I am prepared to support the DA in any way I can to achieve it.”   Carr says that her new Chief Assistant was the most impressive of “several excellent candidates” that she was considering for the number two position in the office. “In the end, I decided on someone with exceptional abilities who could bring a fresh perspective to the task—someone who has knowledge of the office, but who does not have a recent history there. Kevin absolutely represents the best of both worlds. He has an insider’s knowledge. But that knowledge is tempered and informed by an outside, judicial perspective,” said Carr.   Murphy has successfully presided over a host of high-profile felony cases during his tenure on the Superior Court, including the Nuestra Familia murder trial in 2004 where members of the notorious prison gang contracted for murders on the outside. The case was one of the largest death penalty cases prosecuted in the U.S. up to that time.   Murphy also presided over “Leo the Dog,” a nationally prominent road rage case from 2001 in which a small dog died after being snatched from his owner’s lap and thrown into traffic. The defendant in the case was given the maximum allowable sentence.   In 2005, Murphy was appointed Special Master by the California Supreme Court to conduct a hearing involving an Alameda County judge’s behavior in a capital murder case. His written decision was unanimously affirmed by the Court.   Murphy received his Juris Doctor from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1973. He passed the bar and was sworn in as an attorney with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in December of that year. He has served in the county’s criminal justice system ever since.   # # #  

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