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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: F048042
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/31/2006

Following his first trial, Johnson was found not guilty of first degree murder, but guilty of second degree murder and conspiracy to murder. His conviction was reversed, and he was convicted of the same charges. Following the second conviction, appellant’s trial attorney learned about evidence implicating the prosecution’s only witness, Rufus, in gang activity. The prosecutor had never provided appellant with the information. The trial court denied a motion for new trial. The appellate court reversed, finding a Brady violation. The nondisclosed evidence contradicted Rufus’s claim that he was not a gang member, and it was reasonably probable that the trial’s outcome would have been different if the defense had been aware of this evidence. The court rejected Johnson’s argument that the not guilty verdict on first degree murder precluded a retrial of the conspiracy to murder charge. The acquittal on the first degree murder charge does not constitute an acquittal of the conspiracy charge, even though the mental states required were indistinguishable.