Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

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PeanutsNJam

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Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:21 pm

Don't worry I'm not asking for actual legal advice. Asking questions because I'm dumb.

Question 1:

Defendant pleads guilty to a 2-count indictment. Sentence is 5 years.

After 3 years of being in jail, defendant finds out he was innocent of count 1 (whatever reason, doesn't matter).

Defendant does habeas motion.

If the court agrees that defendant is actually innocent under count 1, what happens? Do they recalculate his sentence under count 2 and then subtract the time served from that? If the defendant served more time, he can sue the state for restitution, right?

Question 2:

Defendant is convicted of a crime.

Defendant goes to jail, then does habeas, raising a new argument about why he shouldn't have been convicted.

Trial court says this argument is procedurally defaulted because not brought in direct appeal.

Defendant appeals, and successfully argues that the argument was not procedurally default. Does the appellate court now hear the issue, or does it remand to the trial court and make that court hear the issue?

Question 3:

omitted

Question 4:

Defendant is convicted of a crime.

On habeas, find out that his conduct wasn't actually illegal and the trial court misinterpreted the law which he allegedly violated. Other than due process, what other legal theory do you argue to say that he's improperly confined and should be released, if any?


Would appreciate any help. I don't need thorough answers, just references to cases/legal doctrines would be enough, I can do the reading on my own. Just need someone to point me in the right direction.
Last edited by PeanutsNJam on Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:59 pm

A lot of these are guesses, but:

1) remand for resentencing. It might not change the situation - it would depend on how the sentences was calculated and whether the sentences on each count were set to run concurrently. He'd have gotten one sentence for each count so there wouldn't be any need to recalcuate the sentence for count 2 - the only issue would be whether the sentences had been set to run concurrently (very common) and whether both were the same length. If they were set to run concurrent and the same length, no issue in taking one away. If they were set to run consecutive and the total was 5 years (or they were concurrent and different lengths, like count 1 was 2 years and count 2 was 5) yes, the trial court would likely subtract whatever the sentence for count 1 was and if it was over three years the guy would get out. (Unless the sentences grouped which would make it more complicated and I'm not going to go into.)

Doubt there would be restitution in any case - like I'm pretty sure someone who appeals a conviction and has it overturned for legal reasons doesn't get restitution for sitting in prison during the appeal. Also I think restitution is a criminal thing so the D would have to be able to prove the conviction was a criminal act. (Or sue civilly for damages. But I don't think it would be at all easy to get any. This is just based on the general principles of judicial and prosecutorial immunity.)

2) pretty sure it would go back to the trial court. Generally appeals courts don't like to rule on the ultimate merits of a case so much as they rule on whether the trial court got it right, and if the trial court didn't get it right they send it back to the trial court to try again. (With exceptions.)

3) ??? I really don't get this question. Is there going to be a new trial? If so there's nothing about the old one that's binding and so if D gets to put on defense A the prosecution should be able to offer argument B. The question is confusing to me because how can D argue the trial court erred in rejecting defense A if D actually put on defense A? If D put on defense A then the jury rejected it, not the court, unless it was a bench trial, in which case it would just be that the court as the fact-finder, not the jury, was unpersuaded. Saying the trial court rejected a defense makes it sound like the D was prevented even from introducing it. So if D couldn't offer defense A then there would be no need for the prosecution to offer any argument in return so of course they wouldn't have raised argument B. The other thing is that on appeal it's not that the D would raise defense A directly so much as he'd say that there was insufficient evidence to convict or there were some other errors in how the court handled defense A in terms of letting in evidence or so on. Not sure this makes sense but I really don't get the circumstances you're talking about and would need more specifics.

But the shorter answer is that (generally) the appeal court can affirm for any valid legal reason supported by the record, even if it's not a reason raised below. So there shouldn't be any reason why the prosecution can't offer argument B. They obviously can't offer any additional evidence but if they can make argument B based on the record I think they're allowed to.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:09 pm

Thanks a lot for the help Nony. I misstated Q3, but I might have figured it out.

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encore1101

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Re: Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

Postby encore1101 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:13 pm

My answers will be NY specific. If the federal system differs and that's what you're looking for, I apologize, but I'm sure the answers will be the same for the most part.

1. Habeas would probably not be granted because one of the requirements for HC relief is that the defendant must be entitled to immediate release if the HC were to be granted. If the only thing that defendant was contesting was count 1, but count 2 nonetheless remained intact, he would not be entitled to immediate release unless he can show that he is only imprisoned as a result of his challenged-on-HC conviction.

So if he received concurrent 5 year sentence, no HC relief.
If he received consecutive sentences, he'd have to show that he is only imprisoned for his crime that is being challenged. If that is the case, he'd be released and there'd be nothing left to be done as to the sentence that he already served.

If, on the other hand, you were talking about a post-conviction motion to vacate judgment, then the indictment would be returned to its pre-pleading stage, except for the counts that were subsequently dismissed. See NY CPL § 440.10(8). At that point, the defendant could choose to re-plead guilty to count 2 in exchange for time served (most likely scenario), or could proceed to trial.


2. If the trial court denied a motion on procedure matters, It would be probably be remanded to the trial court to hear the issue, unless there's some compelling reason to just dispose of it in the appellate court (rare).


3. In all honesty, there seems to be little rhyme or reason. Appellate courts sometimes can consider it, sometimes not. They're generally not supposed to, but its been done. You're bordering on the rule of preservation, where a defendant must preserve an argument for appeal by making a timely and specific objection, but it's different when sustaining a judgment. example: People v. Nieves, 67 ny2d 125 (1986).


4. F/actual innocence, which is pretty much a more specific iteration of (substantive) due process;
legal sufficiency of the evidence -- viewing the evidence in light most favorable to the People, they failed to prove that defendant committed a/the crimes charged. this is the likely end result of the judge misapplying the law, but its not a guarantee.

if for example, i was charged with burglary for breaking into a residential premises, but everyone thought the element was any type of premises, the fact that its a residential premise may or may not have been developed at trial.
Last edited by encore1101 on Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:34 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:17 pm

Totally didn't even think about whether someone COULD get HC in question 1. :lol:

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encore1101

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Re: Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

Postby encore1101 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:22 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Totally didn't even think about whether someone COULD get HC in question 1. :lol:


hehe, I only remembered that bc I've been working on a response to a HC petition the last few days so it's been on the forefront of my mind :x

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zot1

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Re: Legal Questions Regarding Crim Pro and Appellate Review

Postby zot1 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:03 pm

If you sue the city for damages, you might end up like Steve Avery. I wouldn't pursue that.



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