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Showing posts from September, 2009

District Court Abused Discretion in Limiting Criminal Defendant's Evidence at Trial.

State v. Inman (ICA September 15, 2009)Background. Inman was charged with several counts of violating an injunction against harassment (HRS § 604-10.5). An injunction was imposed against Inman. He was not permitted to contact or threaten Klein. The charges allege that Inman made various phone calls, glared, lunged, and made an obscene gesture at Klein. Inman failed to timely file a witness list and moved the district court for leave to file a witness list. Inman proffered three witnesses: Gifford, his fiancĂ© who would testify that he was at another place when one of the incidents took place, Parks, who would testify that she never saw Inman lunge at Klein, and Padamada, who would testify that he never saw Inman drive by and make the obscene gesture.Over the State's objection, the district court ruled that Gifford, as an alibi witness, would allowed to testify, and that Parks and Padamada would be allowed to testify only if Inman submitted a witness list including their names…

Nexus to Loss Necessary Before Imposing Restitution

State v. Domingo (ICA September 11, 2009)Background. Domingo was indicted for one count of Accidents Involving Death or Serious Bodily Injury (HRS § 291C-12); specifically, that Domingo failed to stop his car at the scene of the accident and breached his duty to remain on the scene pursuant to HRS § 291C-14. Domingo and Tomlin were driving in separate cars on the H-1 freeway. Tomlin crossed his line and sideswiped Domingo, which caused both cars to crash into the guard rail. Tomlin's car flipped on its side and Tomlin died. Domingo's car flipped onto its roof. Domingo got out of the car, walked to the side of the freeway, and took off into the bushes. Approximately 30 minutes later, he returned to the scene.Domingo pleaded no contest and moved for a deferred acceptance of no contest plea, which was not opposed. The circuit court sentenced Domingo to five years probation and denied the motion for DANC. The circuit court ordered restitution in the amount of $13,225.94 i…

Four Instances of Prosecutorial Misconduct

State v. Suan (ICA August 26, 2009)Background. Suan was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (HRS § 708-836). At trial, the woman whose car was stolen and two police officers testified against Suan. Suan called two alibi witnesses and he himself testified. At closing, the prosecutor made several comments without objection.Bolstering Witnesses was Prosecutorial Misconduct. "Prosecutors are bound to refrain from expressing their personal views as to a defendant's guilt or credibility of witnesses." State v. Sanchez, 82 Hawai'i 517, 534, 923 P.2d 934, 951 (App. 1996). During her closing argument, the prosecutor told the jury that the officers who testified against Suan "have integrity" and that "their testimony really is a testament to the fact that the system does work. They were telling the truth. They have integrity. They could have come in here no reports, told you anything. They didn't." The ICA held her comme…