Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Violation of Prosecutor's Duty to Disclose Favorable Defense Evidence: Penal Code Section 1054

Posted on: May 27, 2008 at 10:12 p.m.

L.A. criminal attorneys turn to Penal Code Section 1054 which requires that the prosecutors provide all reports, witness statements, physical evidence, videotapes, photographs, etc. By reviewing what the police has gathered as part of its investigation, the defense is able to be ready to contest the criminal charges. In turn, the defense may want to reinterview witnesses to determine how credible their observations were. The defense may also want retest DNA results, enhance videotape footage, test fingerprints, and do any other forensic investigation to ensure that nothing was missed in the way the case was investigated, so that there are no other suspects and that the forensic testing of evidence was consistent with established scientific principles.

In a recent decision, The California Supreme Court ordered a new penalty trial in the killing of an Eagle Rock convenience store clerk in the early 1980's. The basis for the ruling was the prosecution's failure to turn over favorable evidence to the defense. If evidence is not turned over, then the defense is not able to present it to the jury and thus the rightfulness of the conviction is subject to question. As to this 1982 case, the court held that the death sentence imposed on Adam Miranda for the 1980 killing was tainted because prosecutors, who blamed Miranda for another murder during the penalty phase of his 1982 trial, failed to turn over a letter to the defense in which another man claimed he committed that crime.

At trial, jurors convicted Miranda of the murder of the store clerk, Gary Black, and of assaulting Black

Tagged as: federal law and defense, motion to dismiss unlawful police search

Comments:

Kristen Fischer on June 1, 2008 at 10 p.m. wrote:

An important thing I noticed from the mistake made by the prosecution is the vulnerability of trials. After the prosecution presented extensive evidence of Miranda


Kelsey Kernstine on June 1, 2008 at 1:59 a.m. wrote:

I am in favor with the California Supreme Court


Cassidy Preston on May 30, 2008 at 11:12 p.m. wrote:

I absolutely agree with the California Supreme Court's decision to order a new penalty trial for Adam Miranda. While the recently discovered letter does not affect the courts decision to convict Miranda for the murder of Gary Black, it almost surely would have played a role in the penalty imposed on Miranda. While the murder of Black certainly justifies imprisonment, it seems likely that Miranda's death penalty sentence was influenced by his being accused of the drug dealer's murder. Now that the this murder and Miranda's confession to it are being question in the light of the new evidence to the contrary, it is both a legal and moral imperative that the court reexamine the case to ensure Miranda is properly punished and not held accountable for a crime he did not commit. In fact, I find it troubling that the Judge Krauel failed to charge the prosecutors with willful misconduct when, as he said, the letter should have been turned over. It was the responsibility of the prosecution to ensure the defense was exposed to all relevant evidence so they could effectively cross-examine Saucedo and the prosecutions failure to do so appears to have led to the guilty plea for the Hosey murder.


Anna Andersen on May 29, 2008 at 1:34 p.m. wrote:

I think this is rather unfortunate because although the defendant clearly deserves to be punished for killing the store clerk, his punishment may have been harsher since the jury thought he also killed a the drug dealer over a $10 debt. The fact that a criminal can get away with a crime because the police or prosecution did not handle the evidence correctly is definitely not the most glamorous part of our legal system. However, I recognize the importance of protecting the people, and I think that letting a few guilty people go is better than convicting even one innocent person. Thats why I think that if an error arises after a case is closed, it is important to consider whether it might have changed the outcome of the case. If there is little reason to believe that it would have changed things then it should just be dismissed. Of course this is vague... In this case, there is no doubt that the defendant murdered a man. However, I don't support the death penalty, and I think it is possible that the murder of the drug dealer factored into the jury's decision to give this verdict. This really just leaves me conflicted...


Sally Derohanessian on May 29, 2008 at 12:10 p.m. wrote:

I agree with the Supreme Court's statement in that the letter would have altered the outcome of the case provided that it was revealed before or during the trial. It is plain and simple - all the facts and evidence that are or can be attained should appear in court for a fair trial. Otherwise, it seems as though the party concealing evidence is involved in suspicious activity in trying to willfully manipulate the outcome of the case. As we have seen in many cases, time always plays a critical role because it allows for new evidence that was not available during or after a trial to eventually appear. Fortunately, even the smallest piece of evidence often makes the difference between finding the accused as guilty or innocent. Therefore, concealing evidence purposely or even neglecting to retreave or inquire about what is available in the 'open file' detracts from the fairness that is to be presented in court for it to be ruled as an unbiased and rational case.









Eisner Gorin LLP has been recognized as one of the best U.S. law firms, based on the experience, professionalism, and ethics of its criminal defense lawyers and attorneys. We aggressively defend clients in all Southern California courtrooms on state and federal charges, including DUI, DMV, misdemeanor, felony, juvenile cases, in the following communities and courthouses.

Los Angeles County, CA: Agoura, Altadena, Alhambra, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, Century City, Chatsworth, Compton, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Downtown Criminal Court, El Segundo, East Los Angeles, Eastlake, Encino, El Monte, Glendale, Glendora, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Inglewood, Los Angeles Lawyer, La Canada, LAX Court, Los Padrinos, Long Beach, Los Angeles Attorney, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, Newhall, Norwalk, Palos Verdes, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Marino, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Sherman Oaks, Sierra Madre, Santa Monica, South Gate, South Pasadena, Sylmar, Torrance, Universal City, Valencia, Van Nuys, West Covina, West Hollywood, Walnut, Westchester, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, Whittier, Woodland Hills, California. Orange County, CA: Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine Attorney, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, La Habra, La Palma, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Orange County Lawyer, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda, California. Ventura County, CA: Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, San Buenaventura, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village. San Bernardino County, CA: Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland.

Call Today! Free Immediate Response.  (818) 781-1570 / Available 24/7

Confidential
Consultations
877-781-1570

Clients' Ratings 10/10 Superb Recognition


Rated Top 2.5% Law Firm in California
SuperLawyers


Our firm has the Highest Rating ("A.V. Preeminent") from Martindale-Hubbell, a national lawyers' review company, for professionalism, ethics, and competence.

peer review



Certified Specialist Criminal Law and Defense, State Bar of California Legal Specialization

legal specialization

Firm partners provide legal commentary on national television and radio. The firm has also litigated a number of high-profile criminal defense matters which have been covered by the media.



Criminal Defense Court Victories - Part 1

Additional Defense Court Victories - Part 2

Additional Defense Court Victories - Part 3

LA DUI Defense Court Victories

Linkedin Professional Proflle
View DMITRY GORIN's profile on LinkedIn



Firm Fan Page & News




Our Criminal Defense Partners



Alan Eisner



Dmitry Gorin


Prior Criminal Law Posts

  • arrest warrant (2)
  • arson pc 451 (1)
  • assault (1)
  • bail and release (7)
  • bench warrants (6)
  • california criminal laws (55)
  • child pornography pc 311_11 (12)
  • counterfeit goods pc 350 (15)
  • domestic violence pc 273_5 (7)
  • driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (1)
  • drug addiction and treatment (2)
  • drug crimes defense (24)
  • dui drunk driving defense vc 23152 (4)
  • faq (24)
  • federal law and defense (29)
  • firearms crimes (1)
  • gang allegations (9)
  • high profile defense (10)
  • immigration consequences (12)
  • internet crimes defense (5)
  • jury trial defense (38)
  • juvenile crime (1)
  • juvenile law (6)
  • los angeles child pornography defense attorney (2)
  • los angeles criminal defense attorney (21)
  • los angeles drug crimes defense attorney (4)
  • los angeles drug laws (1)
  • los angeles drug offense (1)
  • los angeles embezzlement (2)
  • los angeles federal crime defense lawyer (1)
  • los angeles marijuana laws (1)
  • los angeles medical fraud defense attorney (1)
  • los angeles medical marijuana attorney (4)
  • los angeles medical marijuana dispensary (1)
  • los angeles murder defense (1)
  • los angeles paparazzi law (1)
  • los angeles police brutality defense (1)
  • los angeles sex crime defense attorney (7)
  • los angeles violent crime defense attorney (6)
  • los angeles warrant (1)
  • los angeles white collar defense attorney (3)
  • medical marijuana (1)
  • medicinal marijuana laws (2)
  • motion to dismiss unlawful police search (15)
  • police misconduct (5)
  • pornography (1)
  • probation and sentencing laws (11)
  • resisting arrest pc 148 (2)
  • riverside kidnapping defense attorney (1)
  • san fernando violent crime defense lawyer (1)
  • sex crime accusations (38)
  • sex crimes (1)
  • theft (17)
  • three strikes laws (6)
  • untagged (2)
  • vandalism pc 594 (6)
  • violent crimes defense (24)
  • white collar crime fraud theft laws (23)



  • Local Courthouse Specialist: Specializing in Van Nuys, San Fernando, Sylmar Juvenile, and all other valley courtrooms.Email