DA makes the right call
The Los Angeles County district attorney did not personally prosecute the O.J. Simpson case. The Santa Barbara County district attorney is not personally prosecuting Michael Jackson. The Modesto district attorney is not personally prosecuting Scott Peterson.So what are the Kobe Bryant case wags and rival candidate in the 5th Judicial District race for DA talking about when they criticize District Attorney Mark Hurlbert for not being the lead prosecutor when Bryant comes to trial?It would have been unusual if Hurlbert had insisted on the starring role.This was a commonsense decision that every district attorney should make under these circumstances. He has a far-flung district with thousands of cases to manage. And he has a capable deputy, along with specialists, to try the rape case against the NBA superstar.Frankly, this is one of the prosecution’s smarter moves thus far in the case.You can expect his Democratic rival for the office, Bruce Brown, to chide the decision. Mr. Brown no doubt would have chastised the incumbent for being a ball hog of sorts if Hurlbert had made the poor decision to lead the case and his office, too. Call this the Kerry syndrome. Besides, wouldn’t an election-oriented DA bent on seeking headlines keep himself front and center? The talking head lawyers ought to know better, though. They could start by naming one district attorney doubling as the lead trial prosecutor in a celebrity case. So much for “experts.”Hurlbert’s responsibilities extend past this one sensational trial. Minus the star in the docket, this is just one of 15 active sexual assault cases. Not to put too fine a point on categories of misery, but the district has murder cases, as well.