Thursday, August 24, 2006

Old client gets a good result

I just saw this slightly out-of-date Salina Journal article reporting that one of my old clients, Ronnie Branning, got a good deal after a new trial was ordered by the COA due to IAC (not mine). I lost his direct appeal (see here for the details). In the direct appeal, among other issues, the KSC held that " (1) Nonincriminating hearsay statements attributed to an unavailable witness were not objected to at trial . . . [and] (3) a witness who personally exercised his Fifth Amendment right not to testify was not erroneously later compelled to appear." In particular with regard to the latter issue, the KSC held that because trial counsel had not requested a hearing on whether the witness has a Fifth Amendment privilege, we could not get relief on appeal. Mike Holland represented Mr. Branning on his 1507 hearing and alleged that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to properly raise these issues at trial. The COA agreed, reversed, and remanded for a new trial. Branning v. State, No. 93,195 (Kan. App. Dec. 2, 2005), rev. denied March 28, 2006. So I'm glad Mr. Branning got relief. [I still think the cross-examination on the terms of the plea agreement issue is a good issue, but the KSC didn't bite at all. I wonder if it could be a decent federal issue?]

[Note: the link to the Salina Journal article expired.]

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