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Name: In re Roberts
Case #: S071835
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/02/2003
Subsequent History: None

In 1998, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, and an OSC was issued. The petition was based on the grounds that the prosecutor knowingly offered perjured testimony, and that petitioner was denied effective assistance of counsel because trial counsel failed to properly impeach prosecution witnesses. A referee was appointed to conduct an evidentiary hearing, who found that three prosecution witnesses testified falsely at trial, but that the prosecution did not attempt to induce the false testimony, and defense counsel was not ineffective. Here, the California Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of habeas corpus, despite the findings of the referee concerning the false testimony. The witnesses were impeached at trial and the jury heard the impeachment evidence and convicted nonetheless. J. Kennard and George dissented, holding that without the false testimony there was a reasonable probability the jury would not have convicted.