Articles Posted in Jury Selection

Navigating the criminal justice system can be complex, particularly when it comes to understanding the rights and processes involved in challenging a conviction or sentence. For those seeking to overturn wrongful convictions or address issues related to imprisonment, the state petition for writ of habeas corpus is a critical legal tool. This guide, based on information from the California Prison and Parole Law Handbook, provides a detailed analysis of the habeas corpus process, making it a valuable resource for anyone in need of legal guidance, especially those considering the expertise of a California Criminal Defense and Appeals Lawyer.

What is a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus?

A petition for writ of habeas corpus is a legal action that allows individuals to challenge their unlawful imprisonment or restraint. This legal remedy is available to anyone in custody under the authority of California state or local officials, including those in prison, county jail, juvenile detention, or state hospital commitments under Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) or Mentally Disordered Offender (MDO) laws. The broad scope of habeas corpus petitions in California encompasses both criminal law issues and prison or parole law issues and can be based on state or federal law.

Navigating the criminal justice system can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to the intricacies of the appeals process. For those convicted of crimes in California, understanding the rights and procedures related to direct appeals is crucial. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the appeals process. This guide is particularly valuable for individuals seeking the expertise of a California Criminal Defense and Appeals Lawyer.

Introduction to Direct Appeals

Any person convicted of a crime in California has the right to a direct appeal from the final judgment, typically the commitment to prison or other sentencing orders. Direct appeals are also available to those who have been civilly committed as Mentally Disordered Offenders (MDOs) or Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs). The appeals process is an essential legal mechanism, allowing higher courts to review potential legal errors made during the trial or sentencing that could have affected the outcome.

ABC7 publishes an article covering California Criminal Appeals attorney, Matthew Barhoma’s work in a re-sentencing of his client pursuant to Penal Code 1170(d)(1) and AB 2942.

The article highlights a recent success for Power Trial Lawyers, P.C., where the Firm successfully reduced a client’s sentence just mere 9 months after retaining the Firm. Our client, Mr. Earl Snoddy, spent the last 27-years behind bars for a crime he likely did not commit. The Firm filed a conviction integrity request. In addition, Mr. Snoddy, through his counsel, sought to recall and renegotiate on the sentence by submitting an AB 2942 / Penal Code § 1170(d)(1) petition. The matter had deep implications among the California Three Strike laws and various enhancements, as discussed by the ABC7 article and coverage on the matter.

Family Reunited

Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court reversed the death sentence Scott Peterson received after being convicted for the 2002 murder of his wife and unborn child. In more recent news, the state’s high court ordered a trial judge to review the merits of one of Peterson’s post-conviction claims.

Specifically, the high court was concerned about Peterson’s claim that one of the jurors on his case failed to disclose that she had once feared for her unborn child when her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend harassed her. Evidently, the juror had to take out a restraining order against the woman, who was charged based on the juror’s allegations and ultimately spent a week in jail.

The juror’s failure to disclose this pertinent information, Peterson argued, consisted of “prejudicial misconduct.” In Peterson’s court filings, he notes that the juror seemed as though she “wanted” to be on the jury so that she could convict Peterson for his alleged crimes. Peterson notes that the juror’s employer did not offer to pay her for the time she would be on the jury, and that she agreed to sit on the jury even though it would take several months.

Earlier this month, the state’s high court overturned the 2004 death sentence for Scott Peterson, for the murder of his wife, Laci Peterson. Back in 2002, Laci Peterson, seven months pregnant at the time, went missing on Christmas Eve. A few months later, her body washed ashore near Berkeley, California. A short time later, Scott Peterson was arrested and charged with capital murder. The prosecution sought the death penalty.

As is standard in capital jury trials, the trial was bifurcated into two phases. First, in the guilt phase, the jury was tasked with determining whether the prosecution proved that Peterson killed his wife beyond a reasonable doubt. After the jury found Peterson guilty, the trial moved on to the penalty phase.

At the penalty phase of a capital trial, the jury must decide if a defendant should be sentenced to death or if a sentence of life without the possibility of parole would be more appropriate. In the Peterson case, the jury recommended a death sentence, which was imposed by the trial judge on March 6, 2005.

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