California v. ForceAnnotate this Case
Appellant Steven Force was adjudged a sexually violent predator, and received treatment at a state mental hospital for pedophilia and exhibitionism. He challenged the trial court’s order denying his petition to be placed in the conditional release program known as CONREP. According to appellant, he was denied a fair trial because the prosecutor interfered with his right to testify, and the trial court erroneously refused to admit his release plan into evidence. The Court of Appeal agreed, after review of the trial court record, with both contentions, “Successful prosecution is defined not by the result, but by the process. . . . The prosecutor here took his eyes off the prize just long enough to commit misconduct in a way that requires reversal. We publish that reversal not to pillory him, but as a reminder of the unrelenting vigilance and ethical clarity required daily of prosecutors if they are to fulfill our nation’s promise of a fair trial.” The matter was remanded for a new trial.