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Luna v. Massachusetts is an appellate case in which a former police officer appealed a verdict denying him a writ of habeas corpus.
A writ of habeas corpus requires the court to prove that a person is lawfully being held. In this case, Luna considered his denial of a motion for a retrial improper.
The case involved a police officer accused of corruption who claimed his misconduct was forced upon him by the judge. However, the appellate court determined that there was no illegal procedure in the court that convicted Luna.
Luna had made false claims as a police officer when applying for a search warrant for an apartment on a drug charge, and his testimony in a subsequent probable cause hearing was also false accordingly. During the police raid that resulted from the warrant, a man was shot by someone inside the apartment.
Luna was ordered by the judge to produce the informant that told him there were drugs in the house, and he made one up. Naturally, the resultant search did not produce the imaginary informant. Luna was indicted for perjury and filing false reports and convicted on multiple counts. He was sentenced to five years probation. He appealed and was denied a new trial.
Luna claimed that the judge forced him to file the first false affidavit, and that his own lawyer encouraged him to file subsequent reports affirming it. However, the state judge actually told him that he was not required to file the affidavit, and the lawyer was not a representative of the state so there was no state coercion. His first motion for habeas corpus was denied. The subsequent appeal for the motion for writ of habeas corpus was also not granted.
Meanwhile, Luna was indicted in state court on charges of perjury and filing false reports and was convicted in June 1991 on multiple counts of each offense. He was sentenced to five years' probation, conditioned on his resigning from the police force. A motion for a new trial was denied, and the SJC affirmed Luna's conviction. Commonwealth v. Luna, 418 Mass. 749, 641 N.E.2d 1050 (1994). Then, in 1996 Luna brought the present habeas action which failed in the district court, Luna v. Massachusetts, 224 F.Supp.2d at 302, and he now appeals raising two different claims. (FindLaw.com, Thomas Reuters)
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