Attorney Russell S. Babcock represented Mr. Kasim and obtained a reversal of his life sentence after a jury convicted defendant of conspiracy to commit aggravated mayhem ( Pen. Code, §§ 182 , subd. (1), 205) and aggravated mayhem ( Pen. Code, § 205) .
The Court of Appeal granted defendant's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, vacated the judgment, and remanded for a new trial. The court held that reversal of defendant's convictions and retrial were required due to prosecutorial misconduct, which denied defendant a fair trial. First, the prosecution withheld critical discoverable evidence favorable to the defense, and the suppressed exculpatory evidence was material, given that, had it been properly disclosed to the defense, there was a reasonable probability that defendant could have obtained a different result. Second, the prosecution presented false testimony to the jury that the two key prosecution witnesses had not received any benefits or promises in exchange for their testimony. The prosecutor had decided to assist one of the witnesses by the time he testified and, therefore, had actual knowledge of this benefit and had a duty to correct any false testimony by his witness. Not only did he fail to do this, but he conveyed the impression that these witnesses were testifying out of a sense of civic responsibility. Finally, a court-appointed referee found that by the time of closing argument, the prosecutor had decided not to prosecute these accomplice-witnesses as originally contemplated by the district attorney's office. Thus, it was misconduct on the prosecutor's part to *1361 tell the jury that they would be prosecuted after the trial. Since the testimony of the witnesses was crucial to the prosecution's case, the prosecutor's misrepresentation to the jury was material. The prosecutor assigned to the case and gang unit was terminated from the District Attorney's Office shortly after this decision.
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