Witness Credibility: Membership in Rival Gang
August 13th, 2018

California state conviction for first degree gang murder vacated because the prosecution failed to disclose that its key witness “had pleaded guilty to committing a robbery, that he was on probation for that offense [at the time of defendant’s trial], and that [he] had been a member of the Piru Bloods,” who were rivals of defendant’s gang, the Crips. (Amado v. Gonzalez (9th Cir. October 30, 2013) 734 F.3d 936.)


“The jury’s estimate of the truthfulness and reliability of a given witness may well be determinative of guilt or innocence, and it is upon such subtle factors as the possible interest of the witness in testifying falsely that a defendant’s life or liberty may depend”. Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 269 (1959); see also United States v. Bagley (1985) 473 U.S. 667, 676 [105 S.Ct. 3375, 3380, 87 L.Ed.2d 481, 490].)

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