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Law AB 1909

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Hi there.  My friend is wondering about the new law AB 1909 concerning prosecutors who fail to disclose exculpatory evidence – making it a felony to do so.


How does he remedy what happened to him – He asked for a bunch of exculpatory evidence but the prosecutor denied him – going so far as to have the judge in the case ban him from having the evidence due to the nudity of his ex-wife and her participation with other girls.  The prosecutor said she didn’t want those pictures floating around the county jail.  She painted his ex-wife as a pure, wholesome, saintly figure, while meanwhile these pictures show her to be just the opposite.


What does he do?  Should her request this new discovery or should he file some sort of motion against the prosecutor?  Any help you have is great!   He has currently been incarcerated for 11 years. Thanks!



Below are more details if you are interested as I was also trying to reach out to Veterans legal groups who might help.  He is a Veteran.


Hi, I'm a nurse of 25 years working at UCLA in California.  A very dear (Veteran) friend of mine was a Medical Specialist in the U.S. Army (Honorably Discharged) and member of the Detroit Fire Department, EMS Division (and Academy Instructor) - President of his academy class).
Unknowingly he contracted PTSD while in the service when at 19 years old, his base Chaplain DIED in his hands.  He actually met the man's wife and children.
From then on (exacerbated by responding to serious 911 calls in Detroit at an average of 17 runs per shift) he spiraled deeper into depression and anxiety.
He moved to California, had horrible relationships with one ending in domestic violence where he was sentenced to (6) months in the county jail.
(10) Ten years later another woman cheated on him with multiple partners.  While in a heated argument his mind snapped and he beat her severely.  He is currently in prison (11 years so far) on a double life sentence (she is alive and well).
In prison, he sought professional help and was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression - placed on prozac and continues counselling.
He exhausted all of his administrative appellate remedies to the Federal Court level.
However, two (2) things don't sit right and I'm wondering if there is anything or anyone who can help him.
1.   His ex-wife claimed she was cut 20 times with a knife.  DNA evidence shows NO BLOOD on the knife and Police Photos show NO CUTS on her body (taken the same day of the alleged event).

She was under a morphine/darvon IV drip when police interviewed her and she gave these bogus statements.  They had to return a week later to re-interview her because they say (on record) she was too "Out of it" at the time.
2.  The prosecution painted her as a virtual saint.  She secretly was into girls.  My friend and his 
ex-wife were Hollywood types at the time.  He took extensive photos and filmed her in explicit sex acts with multiple women.
      The first judge in the case ordered discovery of all the photographic evidence to the defense.  When they changed courtrooms, the prosecutor was adamant about NOT giving the defendant access to these photos because she did not want pictures "floating around" inside the county jail.
I am no lawyer.  However, I have heard of a recent law passed by Gov. Jerry Brown making it a felony for prosecutors to withhold evidence in a case (AB 1909).  Are you familiar at all with it? Can it help my friend?
And is it legal for a witness' statement given while clearly intoxicated on serious narcotics to be used to charge a person?
He needs assistance.  I hope there is something or someone you can refer him to for help.
Thanks a lot.  Today he is a changed man.  He has been an integral part of several Veteran's Groups at various prisons.  He has accolades and awards for service in prison and is working closely with the Captain of his yard on a program training inmates for motion picture/television production in both English and Spanish.
He is a good man who served his country faithfully.  I will say this, he had checked himself into the VA hospital LONG before any of these domestic situations happened.  They dropped the ball and said he only had slight "Avoidance" issues.
I have AVOIDANCE issues.  We all do (figuratively speaking). Had they medicated him THEN I am positive he would NOT be behind bars TODAY.
Thank you for your time!
Very Best,
Joanne B., RN, BSN


Edited by FindLaw_RE
This post has been edited to remove personal identifying information --Moderator

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Based on what you have said here, the prosecution did not withhold any relevant evidence.  The "evidence" that his ex-wife had lesbian leanings and performed sexual acts on camera was irrelevant and inadmissible as to whether your friend severely beat her (and had a history of what was apparently very violent behaviour).  As you indicated, the existence of the pictures and films were revealed to the defendant and his attorney but were not admissible at trial.  Whether they were relevant or not, it would not be error to refuse to provide copies of the pictures and films to the defendant for his enjoyment in the jail. 


As I woman I expect you would be appalled at the suggestion that prior sexual behaviour by a victim can excuse criminal behaviour such as rape and domestic violence.  In addition, the performance of sexual acts on camera is not the type of behaviour that would properly be used to characterize a woman as a bad person, deserving of severe beating.

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First, AB 1909 doesn't go into effect until January 1, 2017 and it's not retroactive.  Second, it doesn't apply in your friend's case because, 1) the prosecutor didn't conceal the evidence, 2) it's not exculpatory and 3) as Retired pointed out, it wasn't relevant.  If your friend went to trial, he had the option of appealing the conviction and challenging every evidentiary ruling at the trial.

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If he was charged based on having stabbed his wife, and he did not stab her, certainly his attorney could and should have brought this up during the trial. The fact that when she made the allegation she was in a hospital and on morphine would lead one to believe that regardless of the method of injury, there was substantial injury such that the details of the attack are largely irrelevant.


As the others have pointed out, the photos are totally irrelevant. It doesn't matter if she slept with every man and woman in her zip code, assaulting her was illegal. He doesn't get a free pass to commit a crime because of anything she did. That goes double if he was a participant in those acts by filming them.

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