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Maxwell v. Roe, No. 06-56093

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By FindLaw Staff on November 30, 2010 1:06 PM

Denial of Habeas Petition Reversed

In Maxwell v. Roe, No. 06-56093, a murder prosecution, the court reversed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition where 1) a state witness's false testimony was material and its inclusion undermined confidence in the judgment of the jury; and 2) the state court could not have reasonably determined that the suppressed evidence relating to the deal the witness received from the state and his prior cooperation with law enforcement as an informant was not material.

As the court wrote:  "Bobby Joe Maxwell was arrested in April 1979 and charged with murdering ten men in downtown Los Angeles, California. The media dubbed the murders for which Maxwell was charged the "Skid Row Stabber" killings. The prosecution's best physical evidence linking Maxwell to any of the crime scenes was a palm print on a public bench found near the body of one of the victims. The bench, however, was located in an area Maxwell frequented, and the prosecution was unable to isolate the age of the print."

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