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Deporting Witnesses

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The California Supreme Court held today that in the particular circumstances of the case of People v. Jacinto, S164011, deportation of a defense witness did not violate the Compulsory Process Clause.

Particularly striking in this case are the facts that the defense team knew the witness was in county jail on unrelated charges and knew deportation was a possibility, yet took no action to prevent deportation or depose the witness before he was deported. On the other hand, there was no misconduct by the prosecution. The DA was not involved at all in the deportation, and the sheriff merely handed the witness over to the immigration authorities upon his release from jail. The decision is unanimous in the result, although two justices disagree with the majority as to whether the sheriff (who runs the jail), should be considered part of the prosecution team.

Does Jacinto have an ineffective assistance claim?

2 Comments

He has a claim, but since he has the burden of proof, he's going to have to chase down the guy and depose him. Good luck with that.

Compulsory Process Clause, not Confrontation Clause.

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