Prosecutor On Receiving End Of Supreme Court Smackdown Previously Accused of Misconduct

Guess what? King County Deputy Prosecutor James Konat—who was on the receiving end of yesterday’s State Supreme Court smackdown for making “blatant racist” remarks during a 2007 Seattle homicide trial—has been accused of misconduct before.

Konat was one of the prosecutors handling the Burns/Rafay murder trial back in 2004. Then this happened:

Drawing objections from the defense, Konat told jurors that what Rafay and Burns did to Rafay’s family was worse than the recent beheading of an American in Iraq. Rafay’s attorney, Marc Stenchever, called the remark a “blatant emotional plea to the jury” — and one made worse by the fact that Rafay is Pakistani. He asked for a mistrial, though Judge Charles Mertel denied it.

Both prosecutors said an appeal in a case like this is almost automatic, but believe the verdicts will stand. Konat, who came under fire during closing statements last week after saying the Rafay slayings were worse than the recent beheading of an American civilian in Iraq, said he was “not at all” worried his comment would constitute grounds for an appeal.
[A]ttorneys for Burns and Rafay say the case against the two has been prejudiced by the comparison to the beheading in Iraq.

Marc Stenchever, Rafay’s attorney, said: “I think it is blatant prosecutorial misconduct to invite the jury to draw a connection between an event of this nature and these defendants, particularly Mr Rafay.” (The Rafay family is from Pakistan and Muslim.)

Good thing King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg isn’t letting this guy anywhere near important cases. Oh, wait.

Update: This one, too.