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For attorneys at Fred Freeman’s evidentiary hearing, Wednesday was mostly about damage control. Chief Assistant Attorney General George Williamson called several witnesses to the stand — including Alameda County, Calif., District Attorney Tom Orloff — who slammed Freeman’s star witness, a former Alameda County prosecutor who asserts he and others kept Jews off juries in capital punishment cases, including Freeman’s. John “Jack” Quatman, a deputy district attorney in the office from 1972 to 1998, testified Tuesday he colluded with a popular judge to remove Jews from the jury pool for Freeman’s 1987 trial in which he was convicted of murder and robbery. On Wednesday, former colleagues and acquaintances portrayed Quatman as a vicious, vindictive and foul-mouthed prosecutor who seethed with hatred for Orloff. One witness, Deputy DA Colton Carmine, testified that Quatman once called him into his office to show him a trick on how to get a witness to “cross” to the prosecution’s side. Carmine said Quatman walked over to his desk, pulled out what looked like a plastic bag with rock cocaine inside and threw it on the floor. “‘If you don’t want to come across, it’s that easy,’” Carmine recalled Quatman saying, implying that if the witnesses didn’t comply, he could plant drugs on them. Carmine also testified Wednesday that he attended a 1992 seminar in San Diego where Quatman, a scheduled speaker, told a room of up to 300 district attorneys from around the state to “never, ever” allow Jewish people on a capital punishment jury. “‘I probably shouldn’t be saying this,’” Carmine recalled Quatman saying to the audience. Freeman’s attorney, Habeas Corpus Resource Center attorney Gary Sowards, tried to press Orloff about the conference and whether he had any knowledge of the speech. But Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy sustained a string of objections from Williamson, stopping most of Sowards’ questions. Asked whether his office offered any formal training in questioning potential jurors, Orloff said no. “People talk all the time, kick ideas around, which is kind of an informal training,” Orloff said. The California Supreme Court called for this week’s evidentiary hearing and appointed Murphy as referee. His charge: Find out whether the late Alameda County Judge Stanley Golde told Quatman to dismiss Jews or those with Jewish-sounding names from the potential jury pool, and whether Quatman followed through. But under such narrowly defined orders, Freeman’s attorneys — who hoped to uncover a larger system of jury discrimination — ran out of witnesses Wednesday, allowing Williamson to basically run the show. Witnesses testified that Orloff became the focus of Quatman’s anger when the DA — then the office’s chief assistant — investigated a 1993 complaint that Quatman used “a vulgarity” to describe a co-worker, Assistant DA Terese Drabec. Quatman’s disdain for the DA purportedly grew when Quatman asked him to purge records of Drabec’s complaint from his personnel file during Quatman’s 1996 campaign for a Contra Costa County judge seat. “He said, ‘shred it,’” Orloff testified. But Orloff said he refused. “It wasn’t the right thing to do,” he said. Laurinda Ochoa, an assistant DA in the consumer fraud unit, said Quatman’s hatred for Orloff lasted at least until 2000, when she ran into him at a retirement party. “He said he had talked to people throughout the party, and everyone was in the opinion that our office had gone down,” Ochoa testified. “He seemed happy about it … he was lit up.” Daniel Horowitz, a criminal defense attorney who was friends with both Golde and Quatman, testified he was taken aback when he first heard of Quatman’s allegations last year. That was a year after Quatman filed a declaration stating Golde had advised him to kick potentially Jewish jurors from Freeman’s case because they would never “vote for death.” Horowitz says he and Golde’s sons, Matthew and Ivan, are friends and he was afraid Quatman’s allegations would hurt them. Horowitz said he called Quatman. “I said, what’s going on, what’s this business about Stanley Golde?” Horowitz said. “‘Yeah, I made some statements like that, but it’s not as strong as the papers got it,’” Horowitz recalled Quatman saying. The case is In re Fred Freeman, S122590. The evidentiary hearing was set to continue Thursday.

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