Louisiana Supreme Court Opinions
Louisiana v. Karey
Opinion Date: June 29, 2017
Judge: Jefferson D. Hughes, III
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
This case involved an alleged “agreement not to prosecute,” under which the defense claimed that in exchange for the defense providing the names of witnesses who would testify before the grand jury, the sharing of defense attorney work product, and the waiving of the spousal privilege as to the grand jury testimony of the defendant’s wife, the prosecution agreed to abide by the grand jury indictment, whether manslaughter or second degree murder. When the grand jury returned a manslaughter indictment, the State nevertheless presented the case to the grand jury again, approximately seven-and-one-half months after the first indictment, and procured an indictment for second degree murder. The defendant filed a motion to quash, alleging the prosecution failed to abide by the agreement. The district court granted the motion, quashing the second degree murder indictment. On appeal, the appellate court reversed. Finding that the prosecution did not prove it had a valid justification to withdraw from its agreement not to prosecute during the hearing on the motion to quash held in this case, the Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that, since there was no factual or legal error in the district court ruling, the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the motion to quash the second degree murder indictment, and the appellate court erred in reversing the district court decision.
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