COVID-19 delays & court errors leave the door open for an ultimate victory and vindication for former 49er Dana Stubblefield. Seeking to overturn their client’s rape conviction, defense attorneys Rosenfeld & Sawyer will file a motion for a new trial.
SAN JOSE, CA, July 31, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — Defense attorneys Ken Rosenfeld and Allen Sawyer won crucial counts for former San Francisco 49ers player Dana Stubblefield on Monday, despite his conviction on rape charges in Santa Clara County Superior Court (Case #F1660022). Taken together with a number of errors by the trial court and the complications introduced by COVID-19 delays, the defense attorneys’ critical victories set the stage for what Rosenfeld and Sawyer feel will secure a full victory in a new trial.
Rosenfeld and Sawyer were able to secure for Stubblefield two significant acquittals Monday: rape of a person incapable of giving consent, and oral copulation of a person incapable of giving consent.
“This win signifies a substantial portion of the trial,” said Rosenfeld, “and with it we will be able to turn around the conviction of the other counts.”
Stubblefield, 49, was found by a jury to be guilty on charges of rape by force using a firearm, oral copulation by force, and false imprisonment; however, several factors in the unfolding of the trial will lead Rosenfeld and Sawyer to file a motion for a new trial. Among them includes the improper exclusion of evidence, a bias by the court in favor of the prosecution’s theory, and judicial error, which Rosenfeld and Sawyer claim improperly interfered with their ability to defend Stubblefield.
The trial was further negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which created an extensive mid-trial delay that Rosenfeld and Sawyer posit not only allowed too much time to elapse after evidence was presented to the jury, but also possibly allowed the jury to form imbalanced fixed opinions and interfered with their ability not to discuss details of the case with anyone, all of which ultimately impacted the jury’s ability to be fair and impartial.
“The stops and starts involved with the COVID delay made it difficult for jurors to remember what evidence was presented months ago,” said Sawyer. “These circumstances are unprecedented.”
Rosenfeld and Sawyer maintain the innocence of Stubblefield, who played defensive tackle for the 49ers for seven years. “This isn’t a loss,” said Rosenfeld. “It’s just not a win yet. We were sent into a fight and the judge tied our hands behind our back and we still won what was critical. The rest will fall.”
About Ken Rosenfeld and Allen Sawyer
The Law Offices of Allen Sawyer and the Rosenfeld Law Firm are located in Sacramento, Stockton, and San Jose, CA. As California criminal defense lawyers, Ken Rosenfeld and Allen Sawyer aggressively defend a wide range of cases, from first-degree murder to driving under the influence (DUI defense), with a specialty in defending sex offense cases and political corruption cases. As criminal law commentators, Rosenfeld and Sawyer have each made a number of appearances on television and radio, including national media. Their criminal defense law firms practice federal criminal defense and juvenile defense, as well as appellate law, prison law, and mental health law. For more information, please directly contact Allen Sawyer at (209) 645-0556 or Ken Rosenfeld at (916) 447-2070, or visit www.allensawyer.com and www.therosenfeldlawfirm.com
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