Randall Amado, a Crips gang member in California, was convicted of aiding and abetting a senseless murder in 1998.
Amado’s gang hung out at a bus stop in Los Angeles along a bus route that would also pass through the gang area of the Crips’ rivals, the Bloods. The Bloods rode the bus through the Crips territory and would often taunt the Crips. Amado and others from his gang decided to take matters into their own hands and get on the bus, ultimately murdering one person with a handgun.
Amado was found guilty of the murder with the help of a crucial witness in the case who stated that he saw Amado carrying a gun and walking towards the bus and then fleeing the scene of the crime.
Prosecutors failed to disclose that the witness had committed robbery, was on probation and was a known gang member. Amado requested a retrial in light of this and the California court denied because of harmless error.
The court ruled harmless error because even with this new information about the key witness, they believed the defendant still would be found guilty of the crime.
In 2011, nearly thirteen years later, Amado’s defense team requested a retrial once again, citing Brady v. Maryland, where critical information was withheld from a case, with the defendant successfully arguing that such information was against violated the 14th Amendment and the right to due process.
The court found that a Brady violation was committed during Amado’s original trial and a retrial was ordered this week. The court also granted writ of habeas corpus and the defendant was to be released from custody unless the district attorney initiated proceedings for a new trial quickly.