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Claims Roil High-Profile Prosecution .

Publication Date: 
February 10, 2011
The Wall Street Journal
Justin Scheck

Professor Robert Weisberg is quoted by the Wall Street Journal on the chances of dismissing a murder case based on "outrageous misconduct" by law enforcement agents. Justin Scheck filed the following story:

A man facing murder charges in San Francisco federal court is alleging that federal agents could have prevented one of San Francisco's most notorious recent crimes, the 2008 killings of grocery store-manager Tony Bologna and his two sons, allegedly by a member of the MS-13 street gang who mistook the family for gang rivals.

The new claims come from the lawyer for Guillermo Herrera and seek to dismiss his federal indictment for murder and other charges. The filings claim witnesses told U.S. immigration and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that the alleged Bologna killer, Edwin Ramos, had committed various crimes prior to the Bologna shootings, but that agents delayed arresting Mr. Ramos so they could build a bigger case against MS-13.


Even if Mr. Herrera's claims are true, it is unlikely a judge would dismiss the case, said Bob Weisberg, a Stanford law professor. Mr. Weisberg said it is difficult to get a criminal indictment dismissed without showing that law enforcement clearly violated a defendant's constitutional rights. While arguing "outrageous misconduct" can lead to a dismissal without a constitutional violation, he said, judges are rarely swayed by such arguments.