Unanimous California Supreme Court Reverses Death Penalty Because Los Angeles Prosecutors Withheld Evidence of Innocence, Notes Quinn Emanuel Partner George Hedges
Today in a rare unanimous decision the California Supreme Court found that San Quentin inmate Adam Miranda was wrongly sentenced to death because district attorneys, including senior District Attorney Curt Hazell and now sitting judges Lance Ito and Frederic Horn, withheld confessions to the killing by the prosecutor's star witness. Miranda's lead counsel George R. Hedges of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges and Kerry Bensinger of Bensinger Ritt Tai & Thvedt were elated with the result.
"The Miranda case represents yet another indictment of the death penalty. We have been through a 20-year struggle to locate evidence the DA's office intentionally withheld that showed our client did not commit the murder that placed him on death row 26 years ago," said Mr. Hedges. "The case reveals an outrageous miscarriage of justice."
"It took us years to force the DA's office to turn over the Miranda files, and there in the back of one of the files was an envelope containing a confession to the murder by the star witness the prosecutors used to condemn our client to death," added Mr. Bensinger. "It shows just how corrupt the system is. Without an all-out legal assault our client would have been put to death years ago for a crime he didn't commit."
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