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Name: Luna v. Cambra
Case #: 01-55841
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/27/2002
Subsequent History: 11/27/02 opn. amended

Trial counsel rendered prejudicial ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to interview and subpoena two alibi witnesses and one exonerating witness. Defendant testified that he was home asleep in an crowded one-bedroom house, and other family members would have awakened if he had gotten up. The error was prejudicial despite the fact that the alibi witnesses were family members and their testimony would have been somewhat indefinite in time. There was testimony confirming that they would have awakened if someone had gotten up and left the house. Also, despite the fact that the exonerating witness later refused to testify when asked about his own participation in the crime, he had confessed to trial counsel and in a declaration attached to the habeas petition. This was reliable and admissible hearsay.