Stopping the prosecution from masquerading as “The People”

Jay Leiderman
By: Jay Leiderman
July 22 2016

THE DEFENSE MOVES TO PROHIBIT THE PROSECUTION FROM REFERRING TO THEMSELVES AS THE PEOPLE IN A MANNER THAT IMPLIES THAT HE/SHE REPRESENTS THE JURORS AGAINST THE DEFENDANT

The prosecution may, as some do, maintain that it is correct to tell the jury that he/she represents the people of the state of California, and that “I am an advocate for them.”   This statement improperly suggests to the jurors — who are supposed to be impartial fact-finders — that they are in fact aligned with the prosecutor against the defendant.

It is, of course, error to suggest such a notion.  As the Supreme Court stated in People v. Eubanks (1996) 14 Cal.4th 580, 589-590), the role and interest of the prosecution in a criminal case is obviously not that of the jury and the phrase “the People” includes the defendant:

 

The nature of the impartiality required of the public prosecutor follows from the prosecutor’s role as representative of the People as a body, rather than as individuals. “The prosecutor speaks not solely for the victim, or the police, or those who support them, but for all the People.  That body of ‘The People’ includes the defendant and his family and those who care about him. It also includes the vast majority of citizens who know nothing about a particular case, but who give over to the prosecutor the authority to seek a just result in their name.” (Corrigan, On Prosecutorial Ethics (1986) 13 Hastings Const.L.Q. 537, 538-539.) Thus the district attorney is expected to exercise his or her discretionary functions in the interests of the People at large, and not under the influence or control of an interested individual. (People v. Superior Court (Greer), [ ], 19 Cal.3d at p. 267.)

 

Unlike the adversary role of the prosecutor, the domain of the judge and the jury is true disinterest and objectivity in a criminal case. (Id. at 590.)  To suggest to jurors that the prosecutor’s role and interest and the jury’s role and interest are one and the same is a total distortion of the constitutional role each must play and undermines the defendant’s Fifth Amendment right to due process of law, the presumption of innocence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the Sixth Amendment right to trial before an impartial jury.

This is not an argument that any reference to “the People,” as in the charging document, instructions, etc., is a per se violation. (See People v. Black (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 830, rejecting such an argument.)  Here, counsel for the Defendant is narrowly focused on the prosecutor’s improper usage of the phrase to make it appear to the jury that the court, jury and the prosecution are on one side with the defendant on the other.  This is not an accurate portrayal of each distinct and separate role that each plays.  The defendant requests that the prosecution not be allowed to refer to itself as “the People” while in the presence of the jury.

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At Jay Leiderman Law, we have proven results over years of practice, and we are uniquely qualified to represent you in your time of need. We are situated in Ventura, California but we handle cases throughout the state. We have the expertise, experience and skill to handle numerous types of legal matters.  Jay Leiderman is one of only a few CERTIFIED CRIMINAL LAW SPECIALISTS in the area.  He handles every kind of criminal law case. He is famous for defending medical marijuana cases and computer hacking cases, though the bulk of his practice is a generous mix of those cases plus serious felonies and misdemeanors.  Read more at his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Leiderman or his homepage www.jayleiderman.com

“A creative and multi-faceted vigorous defense comes from a creative, multifaceted lawyer.” – Jay Leiderman.

The People cannot claim that they represent the world against the defendant
Jay busy at work, thinking of the next creative defense to win his next case. Between his two computer screens, phone and laptop, Jay employs a lot of technology to defend criminal cases.

This post does not create an attorney-client relationship and does not constitute legal advice.  Moreover, the law changes over time.  Always consult an attorney before determining what motion s to file and what the current law is as to any particular topic.

Criminal defense attorney and author Jay Leiderman, a California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist can be contacted through the contact page of this website: https://www.jayleiderman.com/contact/

18 thoughts on “Stopping the prosecution from masquerading as “The People”

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    JoJo Camp was arrested yesterday in Lakewood, Colorado. He is currently being held on numerous charges including displaying a deadly weapon, stalking, harassment, violating a restraining order, assault, and bribery.

    JoJo, who hasn’t been out of jail much in recent years, made national headlines when he hacked a university computer network, fled the state, and then was apprehended while trying to sell the identities of thousands of students and faculty to an undercover FBI officer.

    JoJo spent time in prison for the hacking and was released early only to be sent back to finish out his sentence after stalking and harassing a Florida lawyer and her child.

    After being released a second time, JoJo continued his harassment of the lawyer and had a permanent restraining order put out against him last year. Naturally he chose to ignore the PRO but left New York and moved to Colorado.

    JoJo attempted to start a business and a new life in Colorado in Mime related activities (yes, Mime) but wasn’t too successful. He was arrested early Tuesday morning after being set up by one of his victims. It appears he’s being held without bail.

    Mr Camp was running as an independent candidate for Colorado House District 1. Let’s hope this arrest doesn’t interupt his campaign too much.

  5. http://www.irontroll.com/2016/08/jojo-camp-preliminary-hearing.html

    JoJo’s preliminary hearing was this morning at 9 am. The state of Colorado had to show probable cause that JoJo committed the crimes he was arrested and accused of having committed. The result?

    JoJo remains in jail, his bond remains at $100,000 and his next court date is September 16th at 9:30 am.

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    JoJo Camp Hearing Tomorrow

    Tomorrow, August 23rd, JoJo makes another appearance in court. This will be his preliminary hearing where the state must show that probable cause exists to believe that the charges against JoJo were committed by JoJo.

    JoJo was arrested in Colorado while pursuing his latest obsession which happened to be a teenaged mime. JoJo was her contracted manager but overstepped his job description and became a little too controlling then went into stalking mode and harassed her family.

    No sentence is expected tomorrow so JoJo is still being held on $100,000 bail. The world is a little bit better for this.

    Mimes throughout the world are rejoicing. Silently.

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  9. Contact
    Note: As of August 4, 2016, the mailing address for Matthew Keys has changed due to an ongoing legal issue. To read more about the legal issue, or to make a contribution to Matthew’s legal defense fund, click here.

    To send Matthew Keys letters after August 4, 2016 (handwritten or typed letters only):

    Matthew Keys #70041-097
    USP Atwater
    U.S. Penitentiary
    P.O. Box 019001
    Atwater, CA 95301

    Matthew can also receive hardcover books, magazines and newspaper subscriptions at the above address, but only if they are shipped directly from the publisher or a bookstore such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble (click here for Matthew’s public Amazon wish list). Matthew may receive softcover books at the above address from any source.

    Matthew also depends on direct financial contributions in order to maintain family and community ties and to continue his writing and reporting. Writing materials, envelopes, postage stamps, call credits and e-mail credits all come at significant costs. To make a financial contribution to continue Matthew’s work, send a money order (no cash or personal checks) in any amount in the name of Matthew Keys #74001-097 to the following address:

    Federal Bureau of Prisons
    Matthew Keys
    Register #74001-097
    Post Office Box 474701
    Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001

    For more information on sending mail, packages, money (Western Union, MoneyGram) or other methods of getting in touch with Matthew after August 4, 2016, click here.

    Matthew Keys also depends on the continued advocacy of his supporters in resolving and rectifying his ongoing legal issue. Those who wish to voice their support for Matthew may do so in one of the following ways:

    Contact his attorneys Tor Ekeland at tor@torekeland.com or Jay Leiderman at jayleiderman@gmail.com.

    Contact his elected representatives (accurate as of August 3, 2016 — for an updated list, click here):

    Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) at 707-438-1822
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) at 415 393-0707
    Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) at 916-448-2787

    Contact your federal elected official — for a complete list, click here.

    Contact the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 or by e-mail here.

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  14. Songs about Law

    Awful Lot of Trouble – Middletown (2002)
    Bad Luck and Trouble – Lightnin’ Hopkins (1959)
    Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde – Georgie Fame (1968)
    Ballad of John Dillinger – Billy Grammer (1968)
    Black Widow, The – Alice Cooper (1974)
    Child Killers – Leon Rosselson (2000)
    Counterfeiter – The Chargers (1958)
    Crime of Passion – John Wetton (1995)
    Don’t Pay the Ransom – Nat Stuckey (1972)
    Done Something Wrong – Elmore James (1960)
    Evil is Alive and Well – Jakob Dylan (2008)
    Frontier Justice – Cee Cee Chapman (1989)
    Guilty Conscience – The Cochran Brothers (1955)
    He Broke the Law – The Fox Brothers (2000)
    Highway Ambush – The Clinch Mountain Boys (1969)
    Hired Gun – Robin and Linda Williams (1990)
    I Fought the Law – The Bobby Fuller Four (1965)
    I’m a Lonesome Fugitive – Roy Buchanan (1972)
    I’m in a World of Trouble – The Sweet Things (1966)
    I’m in Trouble Now – Kris Tyler (1998)
    Illegal, Immoral, and Fattening – Flo and Eddie (1974)
    Illegal Smile – John Prine (1971)
    Illegals – Cledus T. Judd (2007)
    It’s Against the Law – Jimmy Bowen (1962)
    Jack the Ripper – Link Wray and the Raymen (1963)
    Killin’ Kind, The – Bandana (1982)
    Lady and the Outlaw, The – John Stewart (1969)
    Legend of Bonnie and Clyde – Merle Haggard (1968)
    Lie Detector – Arlie Duff (1955)
    Love and Other Crimes – Lee Hazlewood (1968)
    Mean Mean Man – Wanda Jackson (1960)
    Mean Son of a Gun – Johnny Horton (1951)
    Men With Evil Hearts – Dottie West (1961)
    Missing Persons – Jay Ferguson (1980)
    Modern-Day Outlaw – Ronnie Rogers (1983)
    Murder 101 – The Wallflowers (2000)
    No One Mourns the Wicked – Kristin Chenoweth (2003)
    One Second Chance – Jeff Bates (2006)
    Oughta Be a Law – Lee Roy Parnell (1990)
    Outlaw Blues – Bob Dylan (1965)
    Outlaw Man – David Blue (1973)
    Outlaw Rider – McGuffey Lane (1981)
    Outlaws and Lone Star Beer – C.W. McCall (1979)
    Partners in Crime – Rupert Holmes (1979)
    Party of the Second Part, The – Hank Snow (1959)
    Poison – Alice Cooper (1989)
    Scene of the Crime – Marcia Ball (2001)
    Short Life of Trouble – Earl Taylor and His Band (1959)
    Suicide or Murder – Bounty Killer (1996)
    Texas Law Sez – Tompall Glaser (1974)
    There Ought to Be a Law – Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock (1966)
    Til the Law Says Stop – Johnny Faire (1957)
    Trouble – Greg Ridley (2005)
    Trouble I’m in, The – Lowell Fulson (1966)
    Trouble is My Middle Name – Bobby Vinton (1963)
    Troublemaker – Diane Renay (1965)
    Victims of the Fury – Robin Trower (1980)
    Who Killed Delores? – City Boy (1981)
    Wicked People – Mike Hale (2008)
    Wicked Woman – Julia Korena (2005)
    Wrong – Waylon Jennings (1990)

  15. Article II
    Section 1.

    The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:

    Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

    The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each state having one vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.

    The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.

    No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

    In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

    The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.

    Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Section 2.

    The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

    He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

    The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.

    Section 3.

    He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

    Section 4.

    The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

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