(Newswire.net — July 24, 2015) –Harvey Giss, a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and recently retired California Superior Court Judge, started off his career as a law clerk for the Arizona Supreme Court after graduating from UCLA Law School in 1964. He spent his time there drafting appellate decisions for the court, thereby gaining research and writing skills. He described the research and writing experience as invaluable. Giss went on to have a successful career as a Deputy D.A. for Los Angeles county over the next 30 years before becoming a Superior Court Judge. He recently discussed some of the cases he worked on, including the notorious 1980 Bob’s Big Boy murder case.
The Bob’s Big Boy quadruple murder case involved defendants Carletha Stewart, Franklin Freeman Jr. and Richard Sanders. The two males forced nine employees and two customers into a freezer at a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant. The males opened fire with two shotguns and four people were killed and another five were wounded. Stewart had been fired from a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant after making false injury claims and then prompted her friends to perform this heinous act.
Harvey Giss, who was referenced in Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works…and Sometimes Doesn’t, a book published in 2013 by Mark Geragos, as a “tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners D.A.,” described the Bob’s Big Boy murder case as a horrible, brutal crime. Giss noted, “I faced a total of nine defense attorneys throughout the trial, and we fought each and every day. Detectives worked around the clock in order to ensure these murderers were convicted.” Giss said, “Over my career I’ve tried many brutal cases since the Bob’s Big Boy case. You become jaded and numb. You have to shut it out as best as possible.”
Many people even believed Giss should have even been the prosecutor in O.J. Simpson’s trial. Mark Geragos further stated in his book Mistrial, “If you ask a group of LA attorneys who was the best prosecutor they ever saw in front of a jury, a number would probably say “Harvey Giss…”
Judge Harvey Giss was also the A.D.A. of the first U.S. murder prosecution for oleander poisoning. David Wayne Sconce was accused of using oleander poisoning against Timothy R. Waters, a rival mortician. The charges were eventually dropped by the Ventura Superior Court when they were unsuccessful in finding traces of the poisoning in the deceased.
Judge Giss’s distinguished career truly began with his work as a District Attorney. Today, his advice for young ADAs is simple: you cannot help or change what you are exposed to while on the job. Some people do horrible things, and the best thing you can do is shut it out and serve justice.
About Judge Harvey Giss: After becoming a law clerk for the Arizona Supreme Court in 1964, Harvey Giss worked to become a successful Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. Over the next 30 years, he worked on a number of cases, including the Bob’s Big Boy murder case of the 1980’s and the first American murder prosecution for oleander poisoning. Fellow prosecutors voted Giss Los Angeles Prosecutor of the Year in 1989 and California State Prosecutor of the Year in 1990. He went on to become a Superior Court Judge until retiring in July of 2014.