Court can order District Attorney to grant immunity to a witnesses if the testimony is clearly exculpatory and essential

The California Court of Appeal held that the prosecution in this case was not required to grant use immunity to a prosecution witness who invoked his right of self-incrimination at trial instead of introducing the witness’s preliminary hearing testimony under the provisions of Evidence Code section 1291.1, the hearsay and confrontation clause exception for former testimony. Appealing a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, the defendant contended that: (1) the trial court erred in admitting at trial prosecution witness’s preliminary hearing testimony after he invoked the right to remain silent because the defense did not have the opportunity to cross-examine the witness about a prior criminal conviction not disclosed by the prosecution until after the preliminary hearing or about alleged threats made to defendant’s wife the day after defendant’s arrest; Continue reading

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