March 29, 2013

Defense attorneys in Atwater guard killing case cite bias fears

The proliferation of Central Valley prisons has poisoned the region’s potential jury pool, according to defense attorneys for the two inmates accused of killing a U.S. Penitentiary Atwater guard in 2008. Citing past acquittals of prison guards accused of wrongdoing, as well as the clout of the state prison guards’ union, defense attorneys in new legal filings allege that a “dysfunctional” relationship now interferes with “the jury pool and justice” throughout the valley. The assertion sets the stage for an anticipated formal request to move trials scheduled to take place next year.

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