Candace Hale Receives Award for Panel Excellence at SDAP Seminar
Candace Hale received the annual Gerald Z. Marer Award for Panel Excellence at the May 4, 2012 SDAP Spring Seminar. Ms. Hale has been a member of the SDAP panel since 1999.
In 2006, Ms. Hale was assigned the case of Mr. Quintana. He was convicted of molesting his child and sentenced to serve life in prison. The allegations arose from a custody dispute. He fled from the United States during the trial because it appeared trial counsel was unprepared to present a defense. The People successfully moved to dismiss the appeal under the disentitlement doctrine. Because Mr. Quintana was in custody in Mexico at the time, SDAP staff attorney William Robinson was able to convince the court of appeal to recall the remittitur.
When Ms. Hale was reassigned to represent Mr. Quintana, she arranged to have a confidential telephone call with him. She overcame his suspicions that she was just another attorney who was not adequately representing him. After earning his trust, she learned that potentially exculpatory evidence was not pursued by trial counsel. She spoke with six character witnesses who would have been able to provide favorable testimony and obtained declarations from them.
In a one a month period, Ms. Hale spoke to 15 trial lawyers, three polygraphers, and three psychological experts. She secured funding from the Northern California Innocence Project for polygraph testing, and she applied for funding from the court of appeal for expert fees for psychological testing of appellant. The day the court of appeal approved expert funding, she retained a psychologist who qualified as an expert under People v. Stoll (1989) 49 Cal.3d 1136, 1152-1161. She went through a large quantity of red tape to have the prison permit the experts to examine Mr. Quintana. The Stoll expert concluded Mr. Quintana did not fit the profile of a pedophile and the polygrapher concluded Mr. Quintana was truthful in maintaining his innocence.
Ms. Hale filed a habeas corpus petition in the court of appeal at her earliest opportunity, but it was after the appeal had become final. The court denied the petition without prejudice so that it might be filed in the superior court. The superior court granted an order to show cause.
Ms. Hale worked diligently and tirelessly in defense of a client who appears to be factually innocent. This is just one case she has handled with talent and professionalism. The SDAP staff recognized Ms. Hale’s efforts by making her the recipient of the annual Gerald Z. Marer Award for Panel Excellence.
(June 1, 2012)
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