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It’s one of the most shocking legal stories in the San Francisco Bay Area — a former prosecutor alleges he and a now-deceased judge conspired to keep Jews off the jury in a capital punishment case. Yet the protagonist has been largely MIA. Not for much longer. John Quatman, whose allegations last year set off a firestorm of anger in the Alameda County, Calif., district attorney’s office, is expected to resurface next week in a San Jose, Calif., courtroom — along with portions of his personnel file that current prosecutors hope will throw his credibility into doubt. The attorney general’s office won access to the personnel documents Tuesday, after a ruling by Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy, a court-appointed referee in the case. Quatman, now a Montana criminal defender, set off a firestorm with his declaration in a habeas petition for Fred Freeman, a convicted murderer whom Quatman prosecuted in 1987. In his declaration, Quatman stated that former Judge Stanley Golde told him he “could not have a Jew” on Freeman’s jury because Jews would never vote for death. Quatman also declared that it was “standard practice” for the Alameda County DA to exclude Jews and black women from juries in capital cases because they would not support a death sentence. Based on the declaration, the California Supreme Court issued an order to show cause and assigned Murphy to handle the proceedings. Quatman will take center stage in an evidentiary hearing scheduled to take place in Murphy’s courtroom beginning March 22. Quatman did not appear in Murphy’s courtroom Tuesday. But Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Morris Jacobson, who brought the personnel files, said Quatman had objected to the release of any of them. Murphy noted the objection before spending exactly 16 minutes looking through a brown folder containing newspaper articles, slips of paper and other documents. Ultimately, the judge approved Deputy Attorney General Geoffrey Lauter’s request to open portions of Quatman’s personnel records to see whether the former prosecutor had any personal biases or history of “untruthfulness.” Murphy identified three items for disclosure: � A complaint filed by Alameda County prosecutor Terese Drabec regarding “comments made” by Quatman, and Quatman’s response. � A complaint filed by Berkeley, Calif., criminal defense attorney Michael Roman and a response from the district attorney’s office. � Quatman’s 1978 job performance review and his appeal. Murphy noted that the records comprised eight to 10 pages and described that as a small amount compared to the rest of the files. He said he limited his selections to documents involving Quatman’s credibility or potential biases. “These are the only documents which I feel arguably fit these categories,” the judge said. Quatman is expected to testify during next week’s hearing, which could last about four days. It’s unclear who else might take the stand. Attorneys for both sides told Murphy they have not yet exchanged witness lists. Drabec, who currently works in the district attorney’s welfare fraud division, did not return a call for comment regarding the complaint. Roman declined to comment, saying that he might be called to testify in the Freeman case. Other players have been tight-lipped since December, when Murphy ordered the Alameda County DA’s office off the case and made the attorney general’s office the sole counsel in the evidentiary hearing. At the time, Murphy said he was concerned that leaving the Alameda County DA’s office on the case could produce an unfair hearing since Quatman’s allegations placed the office itself on trial. He also cited the words of Deputy District Attorney Matthew Golde, Judge Golde’s son, who told a reporter that he found Quatman’s allegations “untrue” and “hurtful,” according to court transcripts. Quatman, at least, is bound to say something next week. But he’s kept a low profile since his allegations came to light, and he didn’t break stride Tuesday. A caller to Quatman’s Whitefish, Montana law firm Tuesday hardly identified himself before a woman’s voice interrupted: “He has no comment.”

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