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What happens if a witness deemed crucial, later admits/signs a declaration stating he lied, but then recants that declaration?

Bakersfield, CA |

After a trial, a witness who the Judge deemed "crucial" admits that his testimony was untruthful by signing a declaration. Then later changes his mind again and signs another declaration stating that his previous testimony was correct and his previous declaration was not true? The witness in this case was deemed the most reliable and the Judge relied on his testimony in regards to his proposed decision.

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Attorney answers 3


Seems like it might be evidence to support a habeas corpus petition. You should speak to an experienced criminal appellate lawyer.

The opinions rendered herein are based on general principles of law. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and there are often numerous factors which can render advice or an opinion inapplicable. You should NOT make any decisions about the handling of a legal matter without first directly consulting with an attorney about the particulars of your case.


Retain a criminal lawyer who can handle the appellate process, more details are needed, but it would seem that you have a challenge to the conviction, good luck.

The above answer is for information only; and does NOT constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship between KaplunMarx, PLLC, Theodor Kapun and any receiver. The information provided on these pages is general only, and you should not act upon this information without consulting with a qualified attorney.


So there was a bench trial?

I certainly sympathize with your concern.

Without reading the dueling declarations, it is hard to really say if the judge made a mistake. However, it seems like the judge certainly did exercise his discretion in deeming the witness was reliable and credible. I trust the two declarations were available to you or your counsel and there are good arguments that the judge abused his discretion.



No bench trial, it's a State Personnel Board case (dismissal from employment). The Judge sustained the dismissal based on this witnesses testimony. As my counsel was filing a petition for rehearing, the witness came forward and admitted to lying. After my counsel submitted our petiton and the signed declaration, the witness signed another declaration for the state disputing his initial declaration, confused? I am!

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