Discovery of records post-conviction (Pen. Code 1054.9; Brady)

I am having some success with writing DA’s, post conviction, to request discovery when defense counsel does not have it, and I have reason to believe it does exist. My favorite memory was when I relentlessly emailed a supervising DA for discovery until he finally punted it to an intern. She was so eager toContinue reading “Discovery of records post-conviction (Pen. Code 1054.9; Brady)”

Undoing pleas, SB 1393 retroactivity, and Supreme Court People v. Stamps

SDAP sent a great memo on the recent Supreme Court decision People v. Stamps. Copied below (with permission). Also, for those who do not know what a certificate of probable cause is, it is something you request on the notice of appeal from a plea. It is necessary whenever you’re going to challenge the validityContinue reading “Undoing pleas, SB 1393 retroactivity, and Supreme Court People v. Stamps”

it’s always an abuse of discretion

The AG routinely overstates the abuse of discretion standard of review. In fact, I actually write in my briefs now, as a matter of course, that they are trying to water down the standard. Yes, the standard is deferential. But, I now argue that anytime the court violates the law–such as by deciding something fallsContinue reading “it’s always an abuse of discretion”

Objecting to drug expert testimony: inadmissible profile evidence

I know we all think drug sales expert testimony is absurd. Really, drug dealers always possess cash in totally normal denominations that must indicate sales? Lame. I think a valid objection is that their opinion testimony is improper profile evidence. There are great cases on this, and I did not win this in an appealContinue reading “Objecting to drug expert testimony: inadmissible profile evidence”

You gotta SB 1393 or SB 620 remand…now what?!

I’m starting to get appeals from resentencing hearings where the trial courts declined to strike SB 1393/SB 620 enhancements on remand. Here are my tips on how to effectively argue resentencing to make a nice record for an appeal that will be exceedingly difficult to win anyway: (1) A defendant is entitled to have aContinue reading “You gotta SB 1393 or SB 620 remand…now what?!”

Cooperation agreements and Vouching

My personal belief is that trial counsel should always raise claims, even that those that have no chance of success, as long as what is going on is even marginally unfair. Today’s claim I’d like to discuss is vouching via admitting evidence that a cooperating witness has promised to the tell the truth. The CaliforniaContinue reading “Cooperation agreements and Vouching”