A Maricopa County Superior Court judge did not allege racism against the county attorney’s office until after a prosecutor declined a request for a lighter sentence to a poor, black defendant, court records show.
In a June 27 e-mail, Judge Warren Granville never mentioned Mesa resident Patrick Ivey’s race, but he gave prosecutor Jennifer Linn a "heads up," telling her if she didn’t make him eligible for less than the state-mandated minimum sentence of seven years in prison, he would consider invoking a special provision that could lead to his early release.
The Tribune reported Tuesday that Granville invoked the special provision Friday and accused the county attorney’s office of singling out Ivey and ignoring others involved who were affluent or white.
After Linn informed Granville she would not seek a lighter sentence, he replied: "You do what you believe is right, I’ll do what I believe is right."
Linn says in court documents that Granville informed her the next day in court that he was "going to be making findings regarding race" in his order to invoke the special provision. Granville’s order read: ". . . the state chose to not prosecute the affluent individuals, and prosecute or threaten to prosecute the black, indigent individuals."
Barnett Lotstein, a Maricopa County Attorney’s Office spokesman, said Monday that Granville’s actions were "judicial activism at its worst" and that his agency is "absolutely colorblind."
Linn said Ivey’s suspected accomplices weren’t prosecuted because of insufficient evidence, but they are under investigation. A jury convicted Ivey, 20, on May 26 of firstdegree burglary, but acquitted him of armed robbery and kidnapping.
E-MAILS IN PATRICK IVEY CASE
E-mails between Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office have been filed to the court as part of the official record of the Patrick Ivey case:
June 27 — From Granville to prosecutor Jennifer Linn: Just received Mr. Ivey's PSR (presentence report). Would state consider dropping allegation of Dangerousness to afford Mr. Ivey an opportunity of probation? If not, the Court will consider invoking 13-603(L) on grounds of the state's choices regarding immunity, the fact that others involved not prosecuted or punished, and defendant's age and criminal history. If invoked, I would be obliged to make my finding on the record. Just a heads up. WJG
June 28 — From Linn to Granville: I just received the PSR. The State will not drop the allegation of dangerousness, as we do not feel probation is appropriate. Thank you, Jennifer Linn.
June 29 — From Granville to Linn: offenses can go to prison too. In any case, you do what you believe is right, I'll do what I believe is right. WJG.
July 5 — From Granville to Linn: I thought you were entitled to know my inclination and rationale for it while there is time to correct it or the circumstance causing it.