Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Hedgpeth v. Pulido

This case arises from two separate opinions of the 9th Circ. Ct. of appeals. Pulido was convicted for his role in the robbery of a gas station and murder based on the felony murder rule. The court was deadlocked as to whether Pulido actually committed the murder, and as a result assumed that he did not. However, Pulido contended that the felony-murder instructions to the jury were defective because he could not have been convicted under the rule for aiding murderer after the crime had occurred. Additionally, a typographical error occurred under the murder-robbery special circumstances instructions to the jury, in which the substitution of “or” for “and” could have expanded the scope of the crime to allow for non-contemporaneous aiding of a robbery. As a result of the fact that these were not “harmless errors,’ his conviction was overturned

Additionally, in a second opinion the court examined the role of the prosecutor in this case, holding that the prosecutor should have known or did know of the existence of perjured testimony, with result to the testimony of Moore, which suggested Pulido acted alone in robbing the station. However in this case, the court found there could not have been any real harm done to Pulido, since the jury convicted only under the felony-murder theory, which meant they did not believe the testimony of Moore and was thus not a material error.



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