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book review: the innocent killer

11 Sep

Fast, interesting read.  Unfortunately written by a prosecutor so even after D’s DNA exonerates him he still wonders about the guy’s innocence.  Basically the story is that D is convicted of an attempted murder and rape and serves 18 years before being exonerated, only to find himself back in prison on a murder charge carrying LWOP.  Is he innocent of that too, framed by the angry police and prosecutor because of his wrongful conviction lawsuit? You decide. obviously, a true story.

Nice gang enhancement reversal`

11 Sep

Here. Insufficient evidence that D possessed a firearm for promotion of gang activity because he began possessing the gun before he met up with his gang buddies. Excellent.

Holy Shit! Prosecutors have a brady duty to inspect police personnel files and if they find exculpatory information therein the must file a motion to disclose

11 Aug

AMAZING.  Does this mean they now have to inspect any and every personnel file where a police officer is a witness??? INSANE in a great way.

Must be free to be castrated

7 Aug

So weird. A florida inmate who is a sex offender, no word on what type, requested that a judge allow him to be castrated while he was in custody on a  10 year sentence.  The judge denied the request on jurisdictional grounds.  Seems odd; if a prisoner can bring a claim for a surgery for a sex change while in custody, in both cases the penis goes bye bye, why is there no jurisdiction to bring a claim for castration?

In related news, wu tang rapper Andre Johnson told the press he cut off his penis because sex is for mere mortals and he is a G-d.  Um, can someone medicate him please and also sew his penis back on? I’d like more details such as how he numbed the penis and with what instrument he cut the penis off. It seems like it would take a lot of force with scissors or maybe he had a really expensive knife.

Interesting Petition for Cert in Death Penalty Case

6 Aug

Per Scotus Blog, a case from Idaho, Dunlap v. Idaho, is up for cert in the US Supreme Court and the issue is very interesting: whether the defendant’s confrontation clause was violated when the state used two medical reports in the guilt phase of a death penalty prosecution without producing the witnesses for cross-examination.  The state court found there was no confrontation clause right at a sentencing proceeding.  NACDL’s amicus brief is worth reading.  The Supreme Court has emphasized the need for a truth seeking process in the death phase of a death penalty case.  Further, NACDL notes that the Fifth Amendment is applicable in the death phase thus it makes no sense that the Sixth Amendment would not apply.  Seems to me that when life and death is on the line, the accused should be able to confront any evidence that is used in support of taking his life.  Maybe at sentencing phases before a judge, the defendant may not have the right to call witnesses (a proposition I’d still disagree with.)  But, the death penalty phase is procedurally different in many ways not the least of which is that a jury is deciding life and death.  The stakes are too high to deprive someone of their right to confront witnesses and their right to cross-examine those witnesses.  Hope the Supremes grant cert and do the right thing.

Death Penalty Reversal!

31 Jul

Reversal of the death verdict on the basis of juror misconduct in a lovely opinion today.  The court held a juror committed prejudicial misconduct when he consulted his pastor about the definition of “mercy.”  He did not discuss the facts of the case with the pastor.  The pastor advised the juror that if someone’s job requires him to kill another human being and doing so was within the law, then he is justified.  The juror then voted for death.  It was clear that the juror reached his verdict based on his belief of G-d’s rules about following the letter of the law.  The court reasoned that it was clear the juror was actually biased against the defendant because of facts outside of the evidence.  Wohoo!

Nice opinion on obstruction of justice

29 Jul

Interference with the due administration of laws does not mean doing anything that would violate the law according to yesterday’s opinion.  Nice. Also, good read about how cell phones and tobacco were smuggled into prison.  I can’t believe this dude got 7 years for that! Seems like it should have been handled as an internal prison issue to me.

“Previous conviction”=conviction that occurred prior to the current conviction for 667.61

11 Jul

AG argued that it does not matter if the conviction occurred prior to or after the current conviction to enhance D’s sentence for certain sex crimes to life even though the statute says “prior conviction.”  Really AG? Really? CAP says hell no.

bad 1101 case

11 Jul

today re prior robbery in robbery case.  barf. Essentially, in both robberies, D asked about a price. in one he touched his waistband and said he had a gun. In the other he said he had a gun in his jacket.  Really? Kind of standard robbery procedure. Court says it is evidence of common design, plan or scheme.

Person Convicted of Attempted forcible oral cop eligible for prop 36 resentencing

10 Jul

Lovely.