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People v. Johnson
California Court of Appeal
62 Cal. App. 4th 608 (1998)
Anthony Johnson (defendant) was sentenced to five consecutive terms of life imprisonment plus 440 additional years of incarceration for many violent sexual offenses, kidnappings, and robberies. During Johnson’s trial, Johnson’s defense attorney requested an in camera hearing, during which he informed the trial judge that he had an ethical conflict with Johnson and that although Johnson wanted to testify in his own defense, the attorney was unwilling to call Johnson as a witness. The attorney stated that providing further detail about the conflict would violate Johnson’s attorney-client privilege. The court briefly questioned Johnson, and Johnson agreed that the defense counsel accurately described the problem. The trial court, apparently assuming that Johnson wanted to perjure himself, refused to allow Johnson to testify. Johnson appealed his conviction, arguing that he had been denied his right to testify under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kremer, J.)
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