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9th District Federal Court of Appeals Reverses Murder Conviction After all State Courts Reject Appeal

Why You Need a Highly Skilled Criminal Appeals Law Firm to Help You

In a case decided on July 7, 2009, the 9th District Federal Court of Appeals reversed the murder conviction of Mohammend Ali due to the courts finding that the prosecutor had committed prejudicial error when he excused the only two black prospective jurors from the jury pool.

At the trial, the defendant’s attorney had objected to the removal of the only two black jurors. However, the trial judge overruled his objection and found that the prosecutor had a “legitimate reason” for excusing the two jurors. The jury then found defendant guilty of first degree murder and the judge sentenced him to 55 years to life in prison.

What was amazing is that while the defendant continued to appeal his conviction, which occurred in 2001, no court would agree with him. First the California Court of Appeal rejected his argument, then the California Supreme Court turned him down. The defendant then turned to the federal court but the federal district court also stated that the prosecutor did not commit reversible error.

The good news is that the defendant was wise enough to keep “fighting” for his freedom through seeking appeals. Finally, the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals agreed with him and ordered that he be given a new trial. In the event that the prosecution did not take him to trial in the near future, he would be ordered to be released from custody. This is a man who was facing the rest of his life in prison.

The federal appeals court stated that the prosecution engaged in clear acts of racial discrimination when he excused the only two black jurors from the jury pool. The explanations that the prosecutor gave (and which were accepted as valid by all the other courts) were considered “mere pretexts” for the prosecution’s real motive to use racial prejudice to excuse the two black jurors from the trial.

What should this tell anyone who believes that you have no chance of winning your case on appeal? This is a clear signal that you should not give up so long as there are any legal avenues available to you or your loved one. Too many people find themselves in prison for many years and fear they have nowhere to turn. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled California criminal appeals attorneys have been reviewing clients’ case histories for many years in an attempt to find possible legal errors in their trials or to find other legal grounds to seek legal recourse on their behalf. If you would like to speak to us at Wallin & Klarich, call 888-280-6839 or go to our website wklaw.com for more information. We will be there when you call.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.