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green scare | prisons & prisoners

Update on Eric McDavid's Appeal

Yesterday the 9th Circuit Court heard oral arguments for Eric's appeal...
Dear friends,

Yesterday, August 9th, oral arguments for Eric's appeal were heard at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Most of the discussion focused on the incorrect written response to a question the jurors asked during deliberations at Eric's trial (the oral answer to a jury question was the complete opposite from the written answer - the jury reached a guilty verdict soon after). The presiding judge on the panel seemed particularly interested in this issue (she wrote a previous decision for the 9th circuit in which a case was reversed due to an erroneous jury instruction).

The opening brief in Eric's appeal contained 9 separate arguments. Yesterday the court focused primarily on one of those. It would be unfortunate if the court failed to consider these other issues, as they are all important and speak to the multitude of injustices that occurred throughout Eric's case (pre-arrest, through trial and sentencing). But while it is impossible and probably counterproductive to speculate about any possible outcomes for this appeal, we were encouraged by the panel's interest in this key issue.

The prosecution, lacking any solid arguments about why this issue was "harmless error," resorted (as they usually do) to their typical bag of tricks and lies. We know we probably don't need to go into detail here - but just keep this in mind if you choose to listen to the arguments.

If you are interested in listening to yesterday's proceedings in their entirety, they are posted on the 9th Circuit's website at:
 http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_subpage.php?pk_id=0000005995

Now we begin what could potentially be a very long waiting period. The 9th Circuit takes, on average, between 6 months to a year to issue a decision after oral arguments. This will not be an easy wait! Please continue to write Eric and offer your support. For more information on how to support (and write!) Eric, please visit the website:
www.supporteric.org

Yours,
SPS

homepage: homepage: http://www.supporteric.org