Mistrial Declared in Medical Marijuana Trial; Judge Dismisses Refilling of Charges In The Interest of Justice

Mistrial Declared in Medical Marijuana Trial; Judge Dismisses Refilling of Charges In The Interest of Justice

Dexter and Mariesol Padilla

By: Eugene Davidovich, San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Another devastating blow to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ fierce fight against medical marijuana patients; Judge Parsky declared a mistrial after the jury was hopelessly deadlocked.
SAN DIEGO – On May 16th, twelve jurors and two alternates were selected in the trial of DA Bonnie Dumanis v. Dexter Padilla, navy veteran, medical marijuana patient and president of Therapeutic Healing, a San Diego based non profit medical marijuana coop.

The jury began deliberations on Tuesday, May 22, after a long week of arguments and testimony from experts and the defendant, Dexter Padilla.

Two notes were turned in by the jury less then an hour after deliberations. The first was a request for the defendant’s testimony to be read and the second was a concern from all the jurors about juror #10 being hostile, refusing to participate, and preventing everyone from working towards a verdict.

After hearing from both sides about this issue and interviewing the foreman of the jury, Judge Parsky decided to admonish the jurors to be courteous to one another and sent them back to the jury room to continue deliberating. Within nineteen minutes of the second attempt at deliberations another note came in from the jury raising the same concerns about juror #10. Once again the judge interviewed the foreman, heard from the defense and prosecution, as well as disruptive juror #10. This time however, both sides were asking for the juror to be replaced with an alternate.  The judge agreed and an alternate was selected.

Judge Parsky then brought the entire panel into the courtroom, dismissed juror #10 and instructed the new panel to start deliberations from scratch. By the time jurors began the second round of deliberations it was 3pm, and less than an hour to reach a decision was not enough.

Deliberations resumed yesterday at 9am. By 2:15 pm the jurors once again sent a note to the Judge. Everyone including the attorneys, defendant, his family and all the supporters rushed to court to find out what the note stated.

By 2:45pm court was in session and Judge Parsky revealed that the jury was hopelessly deadlocked and could not reach a verdict. After a few brief questions the Judge dismissed all the jurors, thanked them for their service, and proceeded to declare a mistrial, concluding the two charges would be dismissed.

Before the judge could finish uttering the word ‘mistrial,’ Deborah LaTouche, the deputy DA assigned to the case, was falling over herself to announce she would be re-filing both charges.

Michael McCabe, attorney for the defense, urged the court to dismiss the new charges in the interest of justice, citing the prosecution had not come close to reaching their burden of proof, and Padilla had been in full compliance with State’s medical marijuana laws.

Judge Parsky agreed, and in a very rare move dismissed both counts in the interest of justice citing the prosecution was bordering on ‘disingenuous’ in the way they presented their arguments in this case. The defendant, supporters, and everyone in court aside from the DA were overjoyed at the decision.

“Today, justice was served and Dumanis’ bias driven effort to chip away at the states medical marijuana program saw yet another defeat” said Terrie Best, court support coordinator for San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Dumanis tried Padilla on the basis he did not have all the coop’s documents together, which was the reason LaTouche used in her closing arguments in an attempt to prove guilt. The most outrageous part about LaTouche using the documents in her closing is all the records she claimed were not present, were the very records offered to her prior to trial, and the very records looted by the DEA in an unlawful raid on Mark Wuerfel’s office, the general counsel for Therapeutic Healing.

The fact that Judge Parsky dismissed the case in the interest of justice sends a strong message to Bonnie Dumanis’ office that Padilla is immune from prosecution as matter of law, and it would be impossible for them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was out of compliance.

“The Judge’s ruling shows this case never should have been tried in the first place and that Dumanis has a vendetta against qualified patients coming together in a lawful manner,” said Mark Wuerfel. “It underscores the malicious way in which the tax payers money is being squandered to try and put innocent people in prison where all they are trying to do is follow the law”.

After the conclusion of the trial, Deborah LaTouche was seen requesting transcripts from the court recorder signaling Dumanis’ office was considering an appeal, further proving the vindictive nature of Dumanis’ war on patients.

Bonnie Dumanis’ complete disregard for state law is a slap in the face to the will of the people, as well as all the patients who use Prop 215 and the State’s medical marijuana laws to protect themselves from overzealous prosecutors like Dumanis.

As a result of the amazing work of Michael J. McCabe, the criminal defense attorney representing Padilla, attorney Mark Wuerfel and his willingness to stand up for his client, and the dedication of patient advocates with San Diego Americans for Safe Access, the community saw justice served in court yesterday.

Original Article located here. http://www.safeaccesssd.org/2012/05/mistrial-declared-in-medical-marijuana.html

Innocent Americans spent at least 10,000 years in jail

There are innocent Americans being convicted here in San Diego too. Many defendants are scared and have very little money so they are easy to convince to take a plea deal for less time and this leads to more convictions too. The DA’s office has a habit of over charging people in order to manipulate them into plea deals even if they are not guilty. This is another good reason why you need an attorney that is experienced, competent and is not afraid of a trial.

The US Constitution guarantees a fair trial, but the number of Americans that will argue otherwise is incredible. At least 2,000 people have been sentenced to prison for crimes in the last 23 years, only to eventually be exonerated by the court.

As shocking as it may be, until now there has been no official database of information pertaining to Americans wrongfully convicted of crimes only to be exonerated down the road. As a result, researchers at the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law took it upon themselves to change all that and have just now rolled out a database that examines exonerations in America and the findings are astounding. Taking into account as much information as obtainable dating back to 1989, more than 2,000 people have been sentenced to time behind bars for crimes that the court would later say they did not commit.

Scanning barely two decades of available info, researchers have found a trove of information detailing 873 well-documented exoneration cases. Of just those, the time spent behind bars totals to more than 10,000 years in prison. The creators of the database have found proof of roughly 1,200 separate exonerations during the same time span, although less information at this point is available.

So far the results offer an uncensored look at the falsities of the US justice system, and, sadly, the researchers feel like they are only just beginning to dive into the data.

“We know there are many more that we haven’t found,” University of Michigan law professor Samuel Gross tell the Associated Press of his findings.

Although the database only contains a limited amount of information for now, Gross says that it is a critical starting point for reexamining the mistakes that mare the justice system in the United States.

 

Read the rest here

Another VICTORY! Off Duty Drunk Cop Starts Fight And Gets His Teeth Knocked Out And My Client Does Not Need To Pay For Restitution Or Go To Jail.

I won a contested restitution hearing before Judge Hanoian on 3/22/12.

My client was originally charged with 3 felonies arising out of a fight with an off-duty SDPD officer. A the preliminary hearing, Judge Einhorn ruled that my client’s punch to the face of the officer was thrown in self-defense as the officer had struck my client in the neck after my client spit in his face. Consequently, he was held to answer on 2 added misdemeanors by virtue of the spitting, misdemeanor assault (count 4) and misdemeanor battery (count 5).

After my client pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 3 years summary probation, the People requested a restitution hearing, claiming that my client was responsible for restitution to the officer amounting to $50,000-$30,000 for medical and dental expenses, and $20,000 to reimburse the City’s worker’s comp carrier.

Judge Hanoian found that Judge Einhorn’s factual findings at the prelim were binding upon him at the restitution hearing, and rejected the People’s condition that my client was responsible for restitution since the spitting was the legal and proximate cause of the injuries and loss of wages.

In ruling the officer was not entitled to any restitution , Judge Hanoian was particularly offended by the officer’s worker’s comp claim , observing that his application was fraudulent as there was no way he was engaged in the performance of his duties at the time.

The officer hasn’t given up yet, though. He’s filed a civil suit against my client alleging my client was the aggressor , notwithstanding Judge Einhorn’s holding to the contrary.

We’ll see.

– Mike McCabe

John Stossel Thinks That Everything Is Potentially Illegal In The Government’s Eyes

San Diego California Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J McCabe

Here is a very good reason you need a good defense attorney. There are many people who don’t even know that what they may be involved in is illegal. If you are being charged of a crime do not take a chance of thinking that you can handle it yourself. You need the help of a competent attorney who will vigorously defend you. Call me.

Michael J. McCabe

(619 ) 231-1181

 

 

The producer of Stupid in America, John Stossel, broadcasts another outstanding documentary “Illegal Everything” which shows how nearly everything is (or may soon be) illegal – including lemonade stands, raw milk, drugs, fast food, prostitution, recording police, and more.

Another Victory!

The following was published in the Criminal Defense Bar Association (CDBA) and Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Club (CDLC) News Letter. http://www.sddefense.org/

 

Congratulations to Michael McCabe who obtained a great result for his client after a two year battle. On March 24, 2009, a 21 count Complaint was filed against Michael’s client and four co‑defendants. Michael’s client was charged with conspiracy to defraud another of property in violation of Penal Code § 182(a)(4), and 10 counts of grand theft of personal property in violation of Penal Code § 487 (a). In addition, the Complaint alleged a white collar crime enhancement in violation of Penal Code § 186.11(a)(2) as to all defendants and all counts, as well as an enhancement as to all defendants and all counts alleging that the aggregate losses to the victims exceeded One Million Dollars within the meaning of Penal Code § 12022.6(a)(3). The trial took six weeks to complete against all defendants. Michael’s defense theory was that his client was just an employee of the firm that the co-defendants operated. Client was interviewed one year prior to the charges being filed.

His testimony at trial was consistent with what he had told the FBI, the DA’s investigator, and an IRS special agent one year prior (that he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and was not a participant in any crime). Only seven counts were submitted to the jury. Ultimately, Client was acquitted of two counts and convicted of two counts, with the jury being hung on the remaining three counts. At the hearing on the motion for new trial, Judge Allard dismissed the hung verdicts, as well as the two guilty verdicts.

San Diego California Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J McCabe