Friday, November 20, 2015

"We expect a prosecutor to know the law." comment about former DA Paul Gallegos (UPDATED)

"We expect a prosecutor to know the law." comment about former DA Paul Gallegos on the Timothy Littlefield case currently before the Court of Appeals - John Chiv/Words Worth

(Allan Dollison): ...This was the case, where a man was convicted of Multiple Lewd Acts on a Child. Over 9 months later he brought a Motion for New Trial with an affidavit from a juror attached who expressed an opinion that the "defense didn't prove their case." Purportedly the declaration was written by a defense investigator after a discussion with the juror. In our system of justice, the defense does not have to prove anything of course. The legal dispute will center around the admissibility of that declaration....

On the waiver and admissibility of the evidence, at one point, one of the Justices said, "We expect a prosecutor to know the law." Shortly when the opinion is issued we shall find out what the law is. One thing is clear and it went unsaid in the oral argument hearing. It is not the job of a judge to make the objections for the prosecutor, or even the defense attorney if the shoe was on the other foot.

Two Years After Molestation Conviction, Littlefield Waits to Hear Fate - Thaddeus Greenson/North Coast Journal
The question that’s currently before the appellate court justices is fairly straightforward, and has nothing to do with Littlefield’s guilt or innocence: Should Feeney have accepted the juror’s declaration as evidence?

...Based on their questions and comments, it seems clear the justices weren’t impressed with either Gallegos or Feeney’s handling of the motion for a mistrial in Littlefield’s case. One justice quipped in the oral arguments that the court expects state prosecutors to know the law.

“Or,” another justice chimes in, “he might have thought the judge would know the law of California well enough to say those declarations aren’t worth the paper they’re on.”

Why does it matter? You will soon see.

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