Murder Conviction Vacated Because of New Evidence

In 2010, an Orange County man was convicted for a gang murder and sentenced to life in prison. According to a recent news report in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County prosecutors have agreed to vacate that conviction because they say crucial evidence was not provided to the defense at the time. The defendant will now face a new trial.

During the original trial, the prosecution relied on testimony from three informants including a “jailhouse snitch” who provided information with the hope of receiving an early release from prison. The defense attorneys for the convicted Seal Beach man say that the prosecution routinely utilizes snitches and then conceals their work from the defense. In this case, they only provided four out of 300 pages of notes.

While the extent of these alleged unconstitutional practices remains unclear, one defense attorney has been cited as saying that many more convictions will be vacated in Orange County because of these recent revelations.

In some cases, evidence is uncovered that reveals that a conviction should be overturned. In other circumstances, evidence may be  proved that the trial was unfair. If the conviction resulted from a guilty plea, the defendant may ask to appeal the conviction. If it resulted from a trial, the defendant will have the right to file an appeal.

An appeal is an examination of the trial record to ensure that the trial was fair. During the appellate review, oral arguments and a careful examination of the case will take place. If it is uncovered that mistakes made during the trial affected the outcome, the prosecutor and the defense will have to determine if a new trial is necessary.

David A. Stein is a distinguished criminal defense attorney and trial lawyer.   He has an track record of successfully defending violent crime cases, often getting charges dismissed or winning acquittals after jury trial.Contact our law offices at (949) 3445-0040 today or reach us by email here.