How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask JD Your Own Question

JD
JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
1969057
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im writing a screenplay involving my main character who gets

Resolved Question:

I'm writing a screenplay involving my main character who gets sentenced to life in prison for killing a police officer. For the entire second act, she's in prison. Then I need her to get out for the third act. Can you tell me the various ways she could get released from prison? I know there's parole, pardon, but I'd just like a complete summary so I make this as realistic as possible.

Even shady options would be great too.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 5 years ago.

There are numerous ways this could be accomplished. How long do you need her in prison? Do you want the release to be scandalous or are you interested in creative legal arguments? I could spend days discussing the potential ways to have a conviction overturned. It will be helpful if you'll give me a bit more of what you're wanting to accomplish.

 

Also... is she in California or another state?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

She needs to spend 2-5 years in prison. I think a scandalous release would be great. The thing is that even though she's technically guilty of the crime, there are extenuating circumstances. There were dirty cops involved and she was only defending herself.

I'm open to legal arguments but the thing is that the screenplay is told entirely from her perspective so we can't have any scenes of courtroom drama. I would need whatever legal issues are raised to make sense that she could be released for those issues.

Also, ideally something she does helps spring her. We have a character who's a high-priced defense attorney who is helping her so if that helps feel free to use that.

And yes she's in CA.

Thanks,

Tim
Expert:  JD replied 5 years ago.

Great.

 

Well it sounds like you need a factual grounds for release rather than a legal one. One way to accomplish this would be for her high priced attorney to produce newly discovered "evidence" that was not introduced at trial and likely would have changed the outcome. The legal method for introducing newly discovered evidence into a case that is basically over is called a Writ of Error Coram Nobis.

 

A Writ of Error Coram Nobis (roughly translated to "the error before us") is a legal tool used to correct previous injustices that are based on mistaken or omitted facts. You often see these petitions in cases where DNA is later tested to exonerate a previously convicted defendant. I caution you that the "evidence" should be something extremely provocative. It should be something that shakes the very foundation of the case, and to make it scandalous... it should be an attorney created work of fiction.

 

Once the Writ of Error Coram Nobis is granted, she would be released and potentially given a new trial. To solve that issue you can let the DA buy into the newly discovered evidence and not pursue a new trial.

 

Let me know if this sounds good. If not, we can try another angle. If you need any other information just let me know.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

Can we talk about shadier methods? Is there anything she could do from the prison itself?

Thanks

Tim
Expert:  JD replied 5 years ago.

There are a limited number of things someone who had been in prison for 2 - 5 years can do to legitimately be released from custody. Here are a few ideas:

 

1) Writ of Error Coram Nobis (discussed above) - newly discovered evidence that would likely change the outcome of the previous trial... this method gets the accused a new trial. These are often filed pro se (defendant represents themselves)

 

2) Writ of Habeas Corpus - an error was made at some stage of the proceeding that rendered the incarceration illegal... this often arises when a judge sentences the defendant erroneously to an illegal sentence or if there exists an error on the judgment documents that renders them void on their face. This method of relief will sometimes grant a defendant a new trial or simply a correction of a judgment by amendment.

 

3) Appellate process - Appeals in a murder case can easily last 2 - 5 years. Though not scandalous, her appeals could have found an error in the trial that gave her sufficient grounds to overturn the conviction. Again, this would result in a new trial.

 

4) Governor's pardon - The Governor of the State of California, through his pardon office, can pardon any state inmate and have them released immediately. This power is virtually unchecked.. though it is seldom used. Governor's pardons can be quite scandalous if they make the news and potentially could involve scandalous motivations.

 

5) Fake a mental health issue - if she wanted to challenge her conviction based upon her allegedly being incompetent to stand trial, she could do this by faking a mental health disorder and having attorneys challenge the conviction based on her lack of competency (criminal insanity and/or competency to stand trial). If successful on the criminal insanity issue, she could be transfered to a state mental health facility and potentially released upon successful rehabilitation. Incompetent to stand trial would only get her competency training and a new trial.

 

6) Escape

 

I'll keep brainstorming, but let me know if any of these sound good.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi, These are great!! If I accept this can you still send additional ideas?

Thanks,

Tim
Expert:  JD replied 5 years ago.
Of course. And feel free to reply as I'm happy to help any way I can.
JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience: Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
JD and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Criminal Lawyer
JD
JD
564 Satisfied Customers
Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor