Brentford Ferreira

I am currently Special Counsel and Adjunct Professor to the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent and I am in private practice as a sole practitioner. I was previously a deputy district attorney assigned to the Appellate Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office where I was the Deputy in Charge of the Habeas Corpus Litigation Unit. I supervised the work of 9 lawyers and 6 support staff in all habeas corpus cases litigated in Los Angeles County. This unit processes hundreds of habeas corpus petitions each year. They litigate reference hearings in death penalty cases ordered by the Supreme Court. They file returns and conduct evidentiary hearings in Superior Court based on orders to show cause issued by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in all other cases. They also prepare returns and conduct evidentiary hearings in all habeas cases initiated in Superior Court. They litigate many police misconduct cases including cases involving the Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. They also litigate all post-conviction discovery motions brought in capital cases pursuant to Penal Code section 1054.9.

On April 28, 2012, I was the first prosecutor to receive the Johnnie Cochran Ethics Award from the Criminal Courts Bar Association for releasing an innocent man from state prison, Francisco Carrillo. He had been imprisoned for twenty years for a murder that we reinvestigated and determined after an evidentiary hearing that he had not committed. Similarly, we agreed to exonerate John Smith who served twenty years for a murder that he did not commit and we agreed to exonerate Brian Banks for a rape that he did not commit.

I was also in charge of re-evaluating three strikes cases in habeas petitions brought by the Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law School, the Post Conviction Assistance Center for Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles County Public Defenders and Alternate Public Defenders offices. Thirty six inmates had their three strikes sentences reduced to two strike sentences and were released prior to the passage of Proposition 36.

I also supervised and reviewed the work of other appellate deputies in the Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. In my individual capacity I also continued to litigate complex and difficult cases. For example, I handled the following cases:

Litigation in the trial court and the Court of Appeal regarding privilege issues raised by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in their motion to quash grand jury subpoenas. Roman Catholic Archdiocese v. Superior Court (2006) 131 Cal.App.4th 417.

I argued the case of In re Jaime P. (2006) 40 Cal.4th 128 as amicus to the Attorney General’s office. In this case the Court reversed their decision in In re Tyrell J. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 68, which I had also argued in 1994.

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