Scotties Toy Box

September 7, 2012

The California Supreme Court has ruled a death-row inmate is entitled to a new penalty

Filed under: News — Scottie @ 21:59

Another Overturned Death Sentence, but What Happens to the Misbehaving Prosecutors?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The American Bar Association Journal reports:

The California Supreme Court has ruled a death-row inmate is entitled to a new penalty hearing because the prosecution withheld evidence in his 1987 trial that he may have been threatened by a Colombian drug cartel.

The inmate, Miguel Angel Bacigalupo, will be sentenced to life in prison if prosecutors don’t pursue the capital sentence, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A prosecutor in the case, Deputy District Attorney Joyce Allegro, is now a judge in Santa Clara County.

Allegro did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

Bacigalupo told police that a drug dealer had threatened to kill him and his family if he did not carry out orders to murder the owner of a jewelry store and his brother, according to the opinion (PDF). Allegro told the jury there was no evidence of any threats and argued the murders occurred during a store robbery, the Chronicle says. An investigator for the DA’s office, however, had information from an informant that the killings were ordered because the victims had stolen drugs, according to findings by a judge who served as a referee in the habeas appeal.

The DA’s office had argued it met its legal obligations by giving the defense a police report mentioning the confidential informant, who said she had learned the motive for the killings was revenge rather than robbery. The DA’s office says there was misconduct by the investigator, but it is unclear if Allegro had knowledge of wrongdoing, the Chronicle says.

Bacigalupo is challenging his murder conviction in a separate appea

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Scottie;
    In a perfect rendition of the American Justice System, the Prosecutor is heading the team to find and punish the guilty party(s) for crimes done against the state. In actuality, the prosecutor receives the case from the police who have determined that they have found one the prosecutor can convict. He isn’t interested in finding the guilty one or even applying appropriate justice, only in winning. And yet, there are rules — and it’s scary how grey they are.
    I heard a great thing on this recently It was quite concerning how little stands between a normal day and the end of someone’s American Dream.


    Your so Right Randy…very scary how fast a normal life can be changed by a rigged game. Think of it …most of us are in the 99% of poor people, yet we have a cash strapped, over worked public defender to defend us while the other side, the government side, the prosecution, has an unlimited budget and political power and public support. Frankly I think the whole ideal of innocent until proven guilty is been turned on its head. Hugs.


    Comment by randy — September 8, 2012 @ 13:32

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