Defense attorney says prosecutors are systematically withholding information

Past Wednesday, defense attorney Kathleen Cannon accused Vista-based prosecutors of repeatedly withholding evidence that could favor accused criminals, an action that could potentially jeopardize a defendant’s right to a fair trial. Cannon argued to Superior Court Judge Harry Elias that there has been “a continuing pattern of failure” by prosecutors to supply evidence that could be important to the defense.

Cannon’s statements came at the start of a hearing regarding fingerprint evidence in a low-level criminal case, the theft of two bicycles. Defense attorneys want the case dismissed, arguing that the prosecutor hadn’t told them that a fingerprint on a pawn ticket was not clear enough to match to their client. The larger question Cannon raised in court is the allegedly systemic problem of a failure to turn over evidence, which prosecutors are required to do. “This is a problem, and that is the context in which this case is before you,” Cannon told the judge, and cited two other recent instances of alleged failure to provide evidence.

Technically, this battle is over one fingerprint. But the public defender’s office used its complaint about fingerprint evidence in the theft case to highlight its claims of systemic problems. In court, Cannon pointed to two other recent cases in which she said prosecutors violated the rules. In a gang rape case, the prosecutor did not give the victim’s statements to defense attorneys. And in another case, the prosecution is alleged to have failed to turn over a bloody knife that could have worked in favor of the defense.

Read the story here.


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  3. What an excellent website you have here. I can’t show enough appreciation for you bringing these issues to light. In fact, after initially finding this through Google, I saw at least three of your headlines that I personally have had experience with!

    I was falsely accused and railroaded here in Riverside County. I would love to share my story if you’re interested? As a matter of fact, we are still fighting it if you would like to follow us as more unfolds. It is an absolutely ridiculous case, involving everything from withholding evidence or “lost” evidence, DA malpractice, numerous judges, police threats, school districts, mis-identification, disregard of new information, faulty investigation, and a conviction “without a reasonable doubt” based on essentially no evidence. Of course, this was my first run-in with the law, and I had no idea that the system works like this. Believe me, this will all be exposed soon though.

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  4. Hi Jason,

    Thank you for reading DCC and for taking the time to comment.

    Never fear, your email is only for me so you get a copy of my reply to your comment and of course, for private communication between me and you. I do not give out personal information, lists, or anything else! No exceptions. You want information? Present me a warrant.

    About your case, I am very sorry to hear this and would like to give you the opportunity to write about your case in a guest post that we could publish here on DCC. Before you do anything though, you must talk to your lawyer about this and ask what can and cannot be said. The last thing you wish to do right now is harm your case. So talk it over and then get back to me.

    Thanks again for the compliment and let me know your thoughts, Vidocq

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