Defendant convicted of Homicide walks out of Court a Free Man after entering his plea of Guilty in exchange for time served
April 27, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsLos Angeles prosecutors sought a retrial in the Case of People v. Blumberg, in the Antelope Valley Courthouse of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. MA 015042. This was the second attempt to obtain a conviction in the same case against Paul Blumberg of Los Angeles for premeditated attempted murder. Blumberg was originally convicted the first time the case went to trial, however, his conviction was overturned by a federal judge in Federal Habeas Corpus case Blumberg v. Warden, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Case No.: CV 04-8146-CAS-(SH) in 2010, after it was proven that the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles District Attorney's office falsified evidence and subborned perjury to secure a conviction when the case was originally filed in 1997. Blumberg served 14 years in high security California State prisons as a result of the wrongful conviction.
After a recommendation by a magistrate judge to grant the habeas petition, U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder signed a judgment granting Blumberg's petition on February 7, 2010 in Federal Habeas Corpus case Blumberg v. Warden, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Case No.: CV 04-8146-CAS-(SH), and she ordered Blumberg released from custody, unless a new trial began within ninety days. Blumberg was able to make bail at the time with the help of supporters and waived to his trial at a later date. The prosecutors still sought to convict Blumberg who was being defended by Civil Rights Lawyer Okorie Okorocha.
The case was proceeding under Los Angeles Superior Court case number MA 015042, the same case number the case was originally filed under in 1997.
Okorocha filed over 500 pages of motions to dismiss the case on double jeopardy and other grounds, asking the court to dismiss the 14 year old case and to allow Blumberg who is now a single father, who is employed and enrolled in college, to move on with his life.
The case ended with a plea of guilty on the morning of April 26, 2012, in exchange for the 14 years of prison Blumberg has already served and Blumberg is now a free man although was forced to sustain a homicide conviction.
Okorocha said the Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and his office forced his client to take the plea bargain wherein he plead guilty in exchange for a time served sentence, by illegally demanding that the motions filed by Okorocha be withdrawn. "They had no right to try to convict him again and they had no right to make him choose between risking life in prison if the case continues or simply taking the guaranteed freedom with this plea bargain, just so Los Angeles County and the prosecution team can avoid being sued for wrongfully convicting Blumberg and forcing him to serve 14 years in prison," Okorocha said.
Okorocha said "the plea bargain the Los Angeles District Attorney forced my client to take, bars any civil suit for framing him and forcing him to do 14 years in prison and was done as a cover up. Their strategy of forcing him to not have my motions heard, a right he clearly has, and having him have to choose between risking life in prison or guaranteed freedom in this fashion, was absolutely illegal" said Okorocha.
Blumberg had the long time support of renowned civil rights lawyer Arnoldo Casillas of Los Angeles, who knew of Blumberg as a result of handling many Rampart related civil rights cases. Casillas always believed in Blumberg's innocence and supported him during his entire 14 year prison stay. Upon his release, Casillas paid for Okorocha to represent Blumberg.