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Name: Hall v. Director of Corrections
Case #: 02-55758
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/08/2003
Subsequent History: None

Appellant was convicted of first degree murder based primarily on his confession, which was suspect as it contained untrue statements, and two documents provided by jailhouse informants. The jailhouse notes were admitted without testimony by the informant as to their authenticity. The snitch later confessed that he had altered the notes of the conversations to make them more incriminating. The state trial judge ordered a new trial, but the Court of Appeal reversed, finding that Hall had not proved the notes were false. The Ninth Circuit reversed, finding that the Court of Appeal’s decision was unreasonable and the falsification of this material evidence violated Hall’s due process rights. The trial judge necessarily found the notes to be false, and this finding was entitled to great weight. Further, the trial judge concluded that the notes were material to the jury’s decision, and there was a reasonable likelihood that the falsification of the notes affected the jury’s verdict.