This is big news. The state bar discipline process, led by recently-appointed Chief Trial Counsel Jim Towery, is investigating 130 prosecutors who had been identified in a report by the Innocence Project and Santa Clara University law professors on instances of wrongful conviction. (Here's the report's executive summary. Here's the ABA Journal's short news article.)
I expect we'll hear a lot more news about this, that the prosecutors will fight back, that the prosecutors will feel that old matters that were argued years ago shouldn't be the basis of discipline charges, and so on. But this move by the bar seems quite deliberate and planned out, and I expect they've thought through a lot of the issues. We'll see. I'd also expect that at some point more prosecutor offices will adopt "open file" policies simply out of self-protection.
(You may recall that following a San Jose Mercury News investigative series, the state bar successfully went after Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. At the time, many of us wondered what impact it might have. The investigation of 130 is no doubt sending shock waves through prosecutor offices up and down this state.)
UPDATE: Welcome, readers from Overlawyered. It's my understanding that the State Bar is focusing only on cases where the prosecutorial misconduct was not deemed "harmless," and it's my further understanding that the State Bar is taking into account the prosecutors' record and reputation, so that no isolated act is taken out of the context of the prosecutor's career.