Terence Hallinan

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Terence Hallinan
District Attorney of San Francisco
In office
Preceded by Arlo Smith
Succeeded by Kamala Harris
Personal details
Born (1936-12-04) December 4, 1936 (age 78)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
London School of Economics
UC Hastings College of the Law
Profession Lawyer

Terence Hallinan (born December 4, 1936) is an American attorney and politician from San Francisco, California. He is the second of six sons born to Progressive Party presidential candidate Vincent Hallinan and his wife Vivian. His grandfather He currently works in private practice in San Francisco.

Hallinan was educated at the London School of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He successfully contested the State Bar's negative evaluation of his character, based on his engagement in civil disobedience in opposing racist discriminatory employment practices by certain San Francisco businesses in the 1960s, before the Supreme Court of California.[1]

As an attorney, he successfully argued to have the murder convictions of serial-killer Juan Corona overturned on appeal, and represented Corona in his retrial which resulted in 25 convictions for murder and a life sentence.[2]

Hallinan served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, losing his first bid for that office to Harvey Milk in 1977, and later was the district attorney of San Francisco for two terms. While serving as DA, he became a notable opponent of capital punishment. He also was a strong advocate on behalf of decriminalizing prostitution.[3] In his tenure he supported medical marijuana and is now an advisor of NORML.[4]

After a bar fight involving assistant police chief Alex Fagan's son, Hallinan indicted the entire SFPD leadership.[5] No police department in American history had been subject to such sweeping indictments and the scandal became known as fajitagate.[6] Most charges were latter dropped and the only two officers tried were acquitted.[7] Hallinan was later sued by civil rights pioneer Police Chief Earl Sanders.[8] Hallinan was defeated in the next reelection for District Attorney by Kamala Harris.[9]

In late 2014, Hallinan was temporarily suspended by the State Bar of California for co-mingling his and a trust client's funds.[10][11]


  1. ^ Hallinan v. Committee of Bar Examiners, 65 Cal. 2d 447 (1966).
  2. ^ "Juan Corona". latinamericanstudies.org. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  3. ^ Perillo, Lois (May 1998). "Police Beat: Crimes Go Down In March". The Noe Valley Voice. Retrieved March 6, 2015. The man is no longer in jail, however. The district attorney dismissed the case "in the interest of justice". 
  4. ^ Terence Hallinan NORML
  5. ^ "After Fajitagate". The New Yorker. 14 July 2003. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Toobin, Jeffery (14 July 2003). "Fajita Justice". The New Yorker. 
  7. ^ Egelko, Bob (12 June 2006). "Civil jury finds against two cops in 2002 Fajitagate case". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Egelko, Bob (30 October 2007). "U.S. Supreme Court rejects lawsuit by ex-S.F. police chief". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Martin, Nina (August 2007). "Why Kamala Matters". San Francisco Magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Ex-D.A. Terence Hallinan suspended from practicing law, By Jaxon Van Derbeken and Bob Egelko, SF Chronicle, 15 Dec 2014
  11. ^ pdf, State Bar of California

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Hallinan, Vivian. "My Wild Irish Rogues." Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, NY. 1952.