CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE: DUE DILIGENCE AND ABSENT WITNESS
The California Supreme Court affirms the death penalty in this case.
Here, a DA witness testified at the first penalty phase trial. He failed to appear at a later proceeding after being subpoenaed, and was arrested on a bench warrant. The court then released him, he disappeared, and his testimony from the first penalty trial was admitted at the second.
There's this excellent Louis case (42 Cal.3d 969), saying that the failure of the police to keep track of a key witness isn't due diligence, but the Cal. Supremes distinguish
Louis. They also say that the police did act diligently to try to find
this witness after he split. A close reading of the case shows that in reality they really didn't do much, lending fuel to my already hot fire that the courts will do whatever they want to assist the prosecution.
But what the hay? I'm going to rely on this when my witness disappears and some prosecutor starts screaming. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. That's what the courts always forget when they help the prosecutors.
People v. Bunyard; 2009 DJ DAR 2539; DJ, 2/24/09; Cal. Supremes