It was just a joke, the deputy district attorney tries to claim.
Prosecutors thinking of bending the rules might think twice in the Golden State.
Still, the justices ruled in favor of the DA office's ability to disqualify the judge.
"Public trust in Orange County’s criminal justice system has been eviscerated," an ACLU staff attorney said.
Critics demand an outside inquiry into Orange County officials.
"The factual record in this case is troubling," a judge said of prosecutors' alleged misuse of a jailhouse informant.
False evidence and faulty investigations are just some of the issues conviction integrity units must review to right the wrongs of the past.
Sometimes the prosecutor needs to be prosecuted.
Diverting murder cases away from him "disrupted" justice, the ruling said.