Mistrial Declared in Medical Marijuana Trial – Judge Dismisses Refiling of Charges In Interest of Justice

by on May 26, 2012 · 17 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Culture, Health, Popular, San Diego

Dexter and Mariesol Padilla (Photo: ASA)

Jury Deadlock  in Medical Herb Trial Is Another  Blow Against San Diego DA Bonnie Dumanis’ Costly and Irrational  Resistance to the Will of California Voters; Judge Parsky Declares Mistrial.

By Eugene Davidovich / San Diego Americans for Safe Access / May 25, 2012

SAN DIEGO – On May 16th, twelve jurors and two alternates were selected in the trial of DA Bonnie Dumanis v. Dexter Padilla, navy veteran, medical marijuana patient and president of Therapeutic Healing, a San Diego based non profit medical marijuana coop.

The jury began deliberations on Tuesday, May 22, after a long week of arguments and testimony from experts and the defendant, Dexter Padilla.

Two notes were turned in by the jury less then an hour after deliberations. The first was a request for the defendant’s testimony to be read and the second was a concern from all the jurors about juror #10 being hostile, refusing to participate, and preventing everyone from working towards a verdict.

After hearing from both sides about this issue and interviewing the foreman of the jury, Judge Parsky decided to admonish the jurors to be courteous to one another and sent them back to the jury room to continue deliberating. Within nineteen minutes of the second attempt at deliberations another note came in from the jury raising the same concerns about juror #10. Once again the judge interviewed the foreman, heard from the defense and prosecution, as well as disruptive juror #10. This time however, both sides were asking for the juror to be replaced with an alternate. The judge agreed and an alternate was selected.

Judge Parsky then brought the entire panel into the courtroom, dismissed juror #10 and instructed the new panel to start deliberations from scratch. By the time jurors began the second round of deliberations it was 3pm, and less than an hour to reach a decision was not enough.

Deliberations resumed yesterday at 9am. By 2:15 pm the jurors once again sent a note to the Judge. Everyone including the attorneys, defendant, his family and all the supporters rushed to court to find out what the note stated.

By 2:45pm court was in session and Judge Parsky revealed that the jury was hopelessly deadlocked and could not reach a verdict. After a few brief questions the Judge dismissed all the jurors, thanked them for their service, and proceeded to declare a mistrial, concluding the two charges would be dismissed.

Before the judge could finish uttering the word ‘mistrial,’ Deborah LaTouche, the deputy DA assigned to the case, was falling over herself to announce she would be re-filing both charges.

Michael McCabe, attorney for the defense, urged the court to dismiss the new charges in the interest of justice, citing the prosecution had not come close to reaching their burden of proof, and Padilla had been in full compliance with State’s medical marijuana laws.

Judge Parsky agreed, and in a very rare move dismissed both counts in the interest of justice citing the prosecution was bordering on ‘disingenuous’ in the way they presented their arguments in this case. The defendant, supporters, and everyone in court aside from the DA were overjoyed at the decision.

“Today, justice was served and Dumanis’ bias driven effort to chip away at the states medical marijuana program saw yet another defeat” said Terrie Best, court support coordinator for San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Dumanis tried Padilla on the basis he did not have all the coop’s documents together, which was the reason LaTouche used in her closing arguments in an attempt to prove guilt. The most outrageous part about LaTouche using the documents in her closing is all the records she claimed were not present, were the very records offered to her prior to trial, and the very records looted by the DEA in an unlawful raid on Mark Wuerfel’s office, the general counsel for Therapeutic Healing.

The fact that Judge Parsky dismissed the case in the interest of justice sends a strong message to Bonnie Dumanis’ office that Padilla is immune from prosecution as matter of law, and it would be impossible for them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was out of compliance.

“The Judge’s ruling shows this case never should have been tried in the first place and that Dumanis has a vendetta against qualified patients coming together in a lawful manner,” said Mark Wuerfel. “It underscores the malicious way in which the tax payers money is being squandered to try and put innocent people in prison where all they are trying to do is follow the law”.

After the conclusion of the trial, Deborah LaTouche was seen requesting transcripts from the court recorder signaling Dumanis’ office was considering an appeal, further proving the vindictive nature of Dumanis’ war on patients.

Bonnie Dumanis’ complete disregard for state law is a slap in the face to the will of the people, as well as all the patients who use Prop 215 and the State’s medical marijuana laws to protect themselves from overzealous prosecutors like Dumanis.

As a result of the amazing work of Michael J. McCabe, the criminal defense attorney representing Padilla, attorney Mark Wuerfel and his willingness to stand up for his client, and the dedication of patient advocates with San Diego Americans for Safe Access, the community saw justice served in court yesterday.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Not Surfing Today May 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

And this is clearly one strong reason why we do not want BONNIE DUMANIS to be the leader of our “Finest City”!
Wasting our court’s and peoples’ time prosecuting these matters is foolish.

Sadly, the law prevents us (vox populi) from requiring that DUMANIS herself pay back the costs of her instigating and supporting this action “in our name”!
Shame on her!!

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avatar Vintage cars May 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Legalize marijuana now. I’m tired of hiding in a closet for fear of prosecution, losing my house, job, etc. and all for a victimless crime. Prohibitionists can go to hell for demonizing the only substance I can enjoy. Everyone can drink their disgusting alcohol in safety and love it but its a crime to peacefully smoke pot.

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avatar kevin May 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Tips for becoming a stealth juror: If you are called up to perform jury duty in a marijuana case, you will be asked by the prosecutor if you would convict someone for a marijuana offense. Say yes. During jury deliberations, vote not guilty. Do not give a personal reason for voting not guilty; just say that you don’t think that the prosecution proved its case. Your vote will result in a hung jury which will force the prosecutor to offer the defendant a better plea deal. If enough marijuana cases end in hung juries, prosecutors will not bother to try these cases. This strategy helped end alcohol prohibition.

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avatar barb June 9, 2012 at 6:23 am

Kevin,

Do you have any documentation on this strategy during Prohibition? I would like to read more about it, thanks.

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avatar Jason May 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I will be in Court Tuesday morning in Orange County Cal Santa Ana C-5 for sales and transportation because the O.C. D.A. is like the San Diego D.A. they refuse to acknowledge the laws and do what they want.. I am a State patient with a valid Rec, State I.D. and State Caregiver card one of less then 10000 who actually have the State I.D. and one of less then 100 who have the State Caregiver card… Come check out the waste of Money on Tuesday!!

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avatar Sciencefreak May 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Hopefully this medically illiterate sadist Bonnie Dumanis will be stricken with a terrible disease that only marijuana is effective for treating, it seems as though she might already be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

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avatar barb June 9, 2012 at 6:28 am

Glaucoma?

“Smoke or your eyeballs explode!”

Or she’s doomed to take some sort of pill with horrible side effects while we run around all happy with eyes inflated to the proper pressure, thanks to kaneh bos.

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avatar Sciencefreak May 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Read the book “Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease” and start educating everyone you know that science has proven that regular marijuana smokers have less cancer and are protected from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative illnesses by the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant which supplement our own disease fighting compounds made in our bodies.

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avatar Jose May 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Juries should deadlock on all marijuana cases.

That’s what ended Prohibition.

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avatar Max May 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Ol’ Bonnie is running for Mayor. Here’s here position on MMJ from http://www.bonnieforsandiego.com.

Medical Marijuana

I have always been on the record with my support for the legal, legitimate use of doctor-recommended marijuana. I’ve seen firsthand how it eases the pain of serious illness and disease. At the same time, I don’t support the illegal drug dealers who hide behind the compassionate spirit of the law and jeopardize public safety in our neighborhoods.

Being Mayor is about bringing people together, establishing a vision, and working together towards a solution. As Mayor, I will work with the US Attorney, District Attorney, City Council and City Attorney to advance the conversation with business leaders, community groups, patients’ right organizations and other stakeholders with the aim of crafting clear laws and guidelines that will allow legitimate patients access to medical marijuana, while also protecting our neighborhoods.

Really Bonnie? Really?

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avatar kevin May 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

please complete this simple statement to help us weed out

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avatar Shane Doull June 1, 2012 at 1:00 am

Maybe this news will trickle to Orange County and my trial on June 18th won’t have to happen. The OC District Attorney has the same agenda. I had a State Card and Was the Director of a properly formed Non-Profit that was filed by the best counsil I could find…the former prosecuting DA.
Yet, after 21 visits to court, 21 opportunities for the Judge to allow the written law to protect my right, the courts have allowed the DA to ignore the written law and continue to prosecute me.
Its very disheartening when you follow the law yet Law Enforcement can completely dismantle your life regardless of your due diligence. Wish me luck!

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avatar Jason June 1, 2012 at 8:19 am

You will be going to Trial in Orange County, I have been called a drug delaer twice now by there D.A.s “Mr. Andrews in our opinion Marijuana is a drug and you are a drug dealer”, It doesnt matter what the laws say!! So I am starting Trial Monday June 4th Westminster Cal Court Rm W-13 come check out the joke… I have a Rec, Both State I.D. and Caregiver Cards from the Health Department, A seelers permit from the B.O.E. and a Non-Profit 501c-3 Registered with the State since 2009!! If I can be prosecuted and taken to Trial, Every Patient in the State is in danger…

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avatar barb June 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

In her campaign ads, Dumanis likes to tout her “96% conviction rate.” To me, this suggests a greater interest in keeping score than pursuing justice.

Let me get this straight. She went after this guy over documents seized by the DEA and thus unavailable? After the dox were offered earlier? I think this woman has lost her tiny mind, this is not how the justice system is supposed to work.

She ain’t get my vote for mayor!

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avatar Jason June 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I am being denied any defense to sales even though I have a State I.D> and State Caregiver Card a sellers permit and a Non-Profit 501c-3 Corp filed with the Secretary of State Since 2009.. The Judge and D.A. is saying that all money transactions is illegal for any Medical need except reimbursement from a patient Primary Caregiver relationship.. But yet saying you can only be a Caregiver for a Blood relative or Spouse regarding Medical Marijuana.. This case is going to effect all Collective Co-ops, Patient and Caregivers.. Jason D. Andrews Westminster California Court room W-13 Final arguments and Jury instruction and deliberation Monday 9 am!!

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avatar Jason July 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I recieved a Mistrial here in Orange County and was denied any Medical Marijuana defense even with all the proper paper work.. I go back to Court tomorrow on Tuesday July 31 Santa Ana Cal C-5 8:30 am to most like have the case retried… Please if there is any Reporters who want to help out and write a story on the money being wasted here and the wrongful use of Justice come on down..

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