What’s Taking So Long: The Motion Commotion

When I visited Daniel on Friday,  September 11,  he had a large folder with him inside his “visiting cell.”

I knew what it was as soon as I saw it.  We’d talked about it… I’d read about it…

This was the 754-page motion that Daniel’s lawyer, public defender Scott Sanders, had filed on Wednesday, August 26, 2015.

I hadn’t been able to get hold of the motion myself.  Most of my information about it came from Daniel.  He even held up some of the pages — items he found particularly important — to the glass so I could read them.

It’s difficult to get a full picture that way.

I still thought I should write a post about the motion… as much as I knew.  And when I was searching the net to confirm the exact number of pages, lo and behold, I came across a Voice of OC article  with a link to the entire document!

I won’t lie to you and say that I have read all 754 pages.  Not yet, anyway. However, I did go through the table of contents and found all the “chapters” that specifically mentioned Daniel and his case.

Even though every page has “Motion to dismiss – Wozniak” at the bottom, there really wasn’t that much relating specifically to his case.  Don’t quote me on this, but I’d say only about 20% of the over 700 pages mentioned his case specifically.

Scott Sanders’ Claims

Here is an “idiot’s guide” to this motion (from my understanding):

  • There has been corruption in the Orange County Judicial system for the past 30 years.
  • The motion gives NUMEROUS examples of such corruption.
  • The accusations state that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Sheriffs Department have surreptitiously engaged certain inmates to work as jail informants to learn information about other inmates.  Therefore, inmates are being questioned without their knowledge or the assistance of their lawyers.
  • Daniel was purposefully placed in an area of the jail so that an informant would have access to him.
  • The informant was asking specific questions and working directly with police in order to reduce his own sentence (a third strike).
  • This informant had been working with the police for years and had been used in numerous other cases.
  • Daniel’s rights, and the rights of numerous other accused, have been violated by the OCDA and the police.
  • It also goes into a bunch of stuff about Daniel’s appearance on the MSNBC show LockUp.
  • The OCSD is accused of leading the show’s producers toward Daniel specifically and that Daniel’s appearance on the show could negatively influence how he will be seen by future jurors.
  • Mostly the motion contains copious amounts of documentation supporting the many accusations of corruption

This might all sound a bit monotonous, but it’s causing huge ripples in Orange County, where deals are being made and sentences are being shortened in order for the DA’s office keep its bad behavior swept under a rug.

Public defender Scott Sanders actually managed to get the entire Orange County District Attorney’s Office removed from another one of his high profile cases, that of Scott Evans Dekraai, who pleaded guilty to the deadliest mass killing in Orange County history.  Dekraai gunned down eight people in a Seal Beach hair salon.

The Attorney General’s Office has appealed the ruling, and the eventual decision could decide if Dekraai will be sentenced to the death penalty.

So, what’s the point of all this?  What does it have to do specifically with Daniel’s case?

If you ask DA Matt Murphy or victim’s father, Steve Herr, they will say that none of this should be holding up Daniel’s trial.   Murphy claims that the jailhouse informant’s testimony won’t be used against Daniel, so that part is a moot point.

If that’s the case, why has Daniel been in and out of the courtroom repeatedly in the past five years, but still no trial?

What do you think? Do you see this as a violation of Daniel’s basic rights?

How does Daniel himself feel about this massive motion and how it relates to his own future?

I’ll have more information for you, and some quotes and thoughts on the matter from Daniel, in the next post.