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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: G030316
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/22/2002
Subsequent History: 12/13/02 modified opn. & rehrg. den.

In a fact specific case (with an accompanying habeas petition), the defendant’s due process rights were violated by the prosecution’s withholding of material evidence impeaching a prosecution witness. The defendant was an employee of a law office, accused of taking money paid to secure a client’s bail. The witness, Esquivel, was the officer manager, whose three expunged felony convictions and pending spousal abuse charge went undisclosed, despite a formal request for Esquivel’s rap sheet. The trial was essentially a credibility contest, with defendant explaining that he had placed the money in an office cabinet as directed by the office manager and it had subsequently disappeared. Note: Mr. Martinez represented himself at trial, was the litigant who established precedent that there is no federal constitutional right to self-representation on appeal, and who was represented by counsel in this successful appeal.