Case Issuance & Extradition Division

In 2011, the Case Issuance and Extradition Division was managed by division Chief Terri Wyatt, Assistant Chief Susan Gust, Legal Support Manager Ken Deyo and Paralegal Supervisor Don Morton. The division is comprised of the following units:

Domestic and International Extraditions

The Extraditions Unit is responsible for countywide efforts to return fugitive defendants from other states and foreign countries to San Diego. Our unit also works on cases involving fugitives located in San Diego who face extradition to other states.

High-profile international cases handled by the Extraditions Unit in 2011 Included:

Felony Issuing & Priors Unit

This unit has the responsibility of carefully assessing new cases that occur in the central area of San Diego to determine whether felony charges should be filed. In addition, Case Issuance staff decides if a case should be referred to another prosecution agency or to another division to be handled vertically – by just one Deputy District Attorney for the life of the case. In 2011, the attorneys in this division reviewed 5,363 felony cases for issuing, and our busy clerical staff processed all of those cases. There were 3,888 felony cases issued; 794 were rejected; and 681 were redirected to other agencies. The division also handled a variety of legal issues and provided legal advice on criminal law, procedure and evidence to the various law enforcement agencies that submit cases to our office for consideration.

The Priors Unit obtains certified court documents for the DA's Office. The prior convictions elevate a defendant's custody exposure so defendants with criminal records are given a more appropriate sentence than those defendants who have no previous criminal convictions.

Lifer Hearing Unit

The DA’s Lifer Hearing Unit has two main goals: to ensure that dangerous prisoners with life sentences are not released carelessly and to ensure that crime victims and their families are given an opportunity to participate in the parole hearing process. Last year, the Lifer Hearing Unit processed 250 cases for parole suitability hearings. There were 120 lifer parole hearings, with 35 inmates receiving parole grants from the California Board of Parole Hearings. Eighty-five inmates were denied parole at their hearings. Four of the 35 parole grants were overturned by Governor Brown.

High-Profile Lifer Hearings handled in 2011 included:

DA Liaison Unit

Two very experienced prosecutors are assigned as liaisons to local law enforcement agencies including the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. These prosecutors work closely with law enforcement by assisting with investigations. The liaisons provide critical assistance in assuring evidence is collected lawfully so it can be introduced in court by the prosecutors. They also assist police with drafting legal documents such as search warrants, arrest warrants, and other court orders. The DA liaisons are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to answer legal questions. They are frequently on hand for critical suspect and witness interviews in sensitive and serious cases.

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