Judges Kozinski, Fletcher & Wardlaw HAMMER California Attorney General’s Office Regarding State Prosecutor Who Lied Under Oath
See a panel of serious Ninth Circuit Judges in action! Watch this video, beginning at the 16 minute mark, and be sure to watch through to the end. This case involves a clear violation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Napue. This case presents conduct even worse than a Brady violation. In this case, the prosecution infected the case with false testimony–including by a prosecutor himself–over benefits given to a “cooperator” or “snitch.”
Deputy District Attorney Robert Spira was the prosecuting attorney in Melendez’s case. Melendez became a “snitch.” Prosecutor Spira took the stand at Baca’s trial to discuss Melendez’s plea deal. He testified that Melendez did not get any consideration in exchange for testifying against Baca. The California Court of Appeal found this to be untrue. Deputy District Attorney Paul Vinegrad was the prosecuting attorney in Baca’s case who put on Melendez and Spira as witnesses
A magistrate and the California Court of Appeal found that the California deputy district attorney Spira lied under oath, testifying against a criminal defendant and in support of a lying “jailhouse snitch” who was placed on the witness stand in apparent subornation of perjury. Making matters worse, the California Attorney General fought “tooth and nail” to keep the transcript from the California Court of Appeal.
The Ninth Circuit is going to do something about it, including naming the names–if the Arizona Attorney General does not–and the court strongly suggests that the lying prosecutor be prosecuted himself for perjury.
Judges Kozinski, Fletcher and Wardlaw have long been on our Wall of Fame for standing up for the Constitution and the Brady Rule.