Prosecutors appeal Tianna Arata case to state Supreme Court

November 5, 2022

Tianna Arata standing on a highway barrier

By KAREN VELIE

Prosecutors filed a petition for review with the state Supreme Court on Friday asking the justices to hear a case involving an Appellate Court opinion that San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow’s personal political opinions jeopardized seven Black Lives Matter defendants’ rights to a fair trial and that local prosecutors should be replaced by state prosecutors.

During a July 21, 2020 march, Tianna Arata allegedly led approximately 300 protesters onto Highway 101, blocking all lanes in both directions for nearly an hour. SLO County prosecutors charged Arata with 13 misdemeanors, and also filed charges against Elias Bautista, Jerad Hill, Sam Grocott, Robert Lastra, Marcus Montgomery, Joshua Powell and Amman Asfaw.

Defense attorneys argued that Dow’s personal political opinions jeopardized the defendants’ rights to a fair trial, and that local prosecutors should be replaced by the California Office of the Attorney General, a request Judge Matt Guerrero approved.

In early Jan. 2021, both state and local prosecutors appealed Guerrero’s ruling to recuse the entire district attorney’s office because it “fell well short of the statutory standard.” They lost that attempt and also a request for a rehearing based on factual errors in the Appellate Court ruling.

The Appellate Court then ordered the opinion published in the official record.

Both state and local prosecutors voiced concerns that this case could create a slippery slope, with defendants asking to recuse prosecutors based on their political leanings. In addition, by publishing the order, the case could lead to a lower statutory standard for disqualifying a prosecutor.

“The legal standard for recusal of a prosecutor has always been a high standard because of the chaos that will result from making it a low standard,” Dow said following the Appellate Court ruling. Prosecutors in every county across California would be recused routinely and it would derail the current criminal and victim justice system if defendants are allowed to ‘shop’ for a prosecutor that shares their unique views on a particular topic.”

The California Supreme Court is likely to decide whether or not it will hear the case in the next two months.


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obispan

So Dan Dow’s “crime” is not recognizing the “woke” culture which says Tianna Arata can block a highway, prevent access to a hospital for a medical emergency, and assault a child? The answer is no, and if YOU want to escalate it to the level of violence so be it.


RalphKane

What was the fate of that red-haired punk who smashed a car window with his skateboard?


mazin

Since when was a prosecutor supposed to be neutral? I thought they were supposed to be advocates for the prosecution.

BTW, ha-satan (“the satan”) first appears in the Hebrew Bible as a heavenly prosecutor, subordinate to Yahweh (God), who prosecutes the nation of Judah in the heavenly court and tests the loyalty of Yahweh’s followers.

Just saying, prosecutor’s are not supposed to be … nice.


MrYan

Ah the old “slippery slope” argument is trotted out again. You know you are on weak ground when that is the basis for an argument against any position. It basically says I have no good reason today to offer against this, but tomorrow—down that slope-I will find something real good for you. It isn’t a winning argument to make in a court of law.


commonsenseguy

So, I guess we just look the other way and let these lawbreakers get away with all of the crimes they committed and forego the rule of law?

Are those who agree with the reckless Judge Guerreo’s original bias ruling okay with the precedent this will set on the so-called rule of law the left and their supporters choose too selectively accept depending on the narrative they promote?

The slippery slope are judges like Guerreo’s and those that support his decision letting politics go before the rule of law. In this case threatened hundreds of lives including children and a pregnant woman. But then again, they only want justice when their lives are personally threatened. Other than that, game on for anarchy.

Ah, the same old elitist leftist argument trotted out. Racism and intolerance.


MrYan

This about where, and who, tries the case.

The case is still being prosecuted. The judge did not dismiss the case, he just moved it. So no looking away at crimes here. You seem confused.


Dan Dow made a mistake by fundraising off a case he was charged with prosecuting. He is to blame for the case being moved. That is the issue. Nothing else.


You can read about the proceedings at CCN when this case is eventually tried. Just like the Kristen Smart case.


slowave7

Dan Dow made a mistake by fundraising off a case he was charged with prosecuting. He is to blame for the case being moved. That is the issue. Nothing else.


matthwy58

Be where, if you travel to communities that don’t share your radical political agenda and commit crimes you will be prosecuted. If you commit crimes you will prosecuted.

This is common knowledge and should never have been approved by Guerrero.


shelworth

Tianna Arata “allegedly” led approximately 300 protesters onto Highway 101. If she didn’t, someone is really good at manipulating video.


paragon

It’s standard practice for professional media organizations to refer to defendants crimes as “alleged” until they are convicted. You know, that whole innocent until proven guilty thing our justice system was built on.


Jorge Estrada

If it were possible, I would have corralled everyone and started the process at the incident to safely, accurately arrest and contain everyone until their Bail Hearing is available. Safety first, then due process.