A San Francisco Superior Court judge denied a motion Monday morning that asked to take the murder resentencing of Mayor Breed’s brother out of the hands of DA Brooke Jenkins’s office, a motion that was made by Breed’s brother’s attorneys.
One of the thornier ethical issues of San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’s six-month tenure (other than, you know, the unreported $153,000 payment from the Recall Chesa Boudin financiers) has been the resentencing of the 2000 Napoleon Brown murder case. Thorny, of course, because DA Brooke Jenkins was appointed by Mayor Breed, and Napoleon Brown is Mayor Breed’s brother. Jenkins’s office had tried to hand off the case to state AG Rob Bonta in July to avoid the appearance of thumbs on the scales of justice, but Bonta’s office politely declined that hot potato less than two weeks later.
Napoleon Brown’s attorneys also decried having Jenkins’s office on the case, under the impression that her office would be (as they wrote in court filings) “unduly tough” on Brown just to fight the perception that the fix was in. But the Chronicle reports that request too was denied, as SF Superior Court Judge Brendan Conroy ruled that there was a proper “ethical wall” between Breed's and Jenkins’s offices.
DA Jenkins herself will not personally argue against the reduction in sentence, that will fall upon Assistant District Attorney Ana Gonzalez. But the Jenkins administration has thus far opposed any reduction in sentence, and argues their opposition will not be in any way softened by Breed’s influence.
“The strict firewall that was put in place previously to wall off District Attorney Brooke Jenkins from this case will remain in place,” a DA’s office spokesperson said in a statement to the Chronicle. “There will continue to be no communication with her at all about the proceedings. Additionally, she will not have access to the physical file and electronic files.”
As a reminder, the Napoleon Brown case dates back to the year 2000. Brown had been convicted of robbing a Johnny Rockets on Chestnut Street, and post-robbery, was accused of pushing his 25-year-old girlfriend Lenties White out of the getaway car that White was driving. White was then struck and killed by another vehicle. Brown was found guilty of murder, robbery, and carjacking, and has currently served a little over half of his 44-year sentence.
Brown’s quest to have his sentence reduced is still on, and his next court date is scheduled for February 14.
Screenshot: @LondonBreed via Twitter