Innocence Legal Team | Criminal Defense Attorney | Nancy Haydt




★★★★★5 Star
Nancy Haydt

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Since 1989, 643 men and women who were falsely convicted of sex crimes, have been fully exonerated of all criminal activity. Coerced confessions, false testimony, undisclosed evidence, and official misconduct factor in these wrongful convictions. Thorough professional investigation and highly skilled post-trial and appellate representation are crucial to pursuing exoneration of sex crime convictions and appeals.


  • University of Florida – B.S. Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
  • University of Colorado – M.S. Candidate, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Santa Barbara College of Law – Juris Doctorate

Career Summary

More than twenty years of misdemeanor and felony trials, criminal appeals, and habeas corpus. Including death penalty trials which resulted in sentences other than death, and successful California Supreme Court death penalty appeal with return to the trial court for further hearings. Extensive law and motion practice in homicide cases. Engagement in legislation for racial justice and criminal sentence reform.

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • State Bar of California; U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • State Bar of Colorado; U.S. District Court Colorado
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Court

Significant Case Experience

  • People v. Daniel Allen Tuffree – police officer killing resulting in 2nd degree murder conviction
  • People v. Pepe Jose Castillo – robbery/murder with a prior murder conviction resulting in life sentence
  • People v. David Attias – 4-victim murder resulting in not guilty by reason of insanity verdict
  • People v. Martin Hartmann – arson-hate crime-murder resulting in sentence of life without parole
  • U.S. v. Steven Dale Green – U.S. Army Private convicted of rape/arson/murder of Iraqi civilians resulting in life without parole
  • In re Jesse Morrison – death row inmate on habeas corpus. California Supreme Court returned the case to the trial court for further hearings.
  • People v. Defendant02 – Colorado Organized Crime Control Act [COCCA] conviction of distribution of 25 kilos of cocaine resulting in sentence served of 4 years.

Criminal Justice Community Engagement

  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice [CACJ] – Death Penalty Committee Co-Chairperson (2013 – 2017)
  • American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project [ABA] – Steering Committee Member (2017-2019)
  • Member: CACJ, ABA, California Public Defenders Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, National Association of Public Defenders, California Appellate Defense Counsel

The Similarity between Sex Cases and Death Penalty Cases

In every criminal case the accused fights an uphill battle to prove his or her innocence. In death penalty cases, the prosecution will use every tactic possible to ensure a conviction. Coached witness testimony, false identification, recovered memory, false scientific evidence, and coerced confessions go hand-in-hand with the government’s goal of putting a man on death row. In death penalty cases, the prosecutors introduce prejudicial information – proven or alleged – to the community intentionally poisoning the jury pool.


Those charged with sex offenses face same miscarriage of justice. Those alleged to be “sex offenders” are disadvantaged by unethical prosecution tactics and by negative publicity. Rumor and innuendo isolate the accused from his or her community.


As with death penalty cases, convictions in sex cases are often due to lack of preparation or investigation by trial counsel. In the event of a sex crime conviction, before sentencing it is essential for the defendant to file a motion for a new trial. Experienced counsel will investigate and present evidence that was not investigated or not introduced in trial. If the new trial motion is denied, the record on appeal will contain necessary evidence that trial counsel failed to present.


Through my death penalty work I have become an expert at developing the record for new trial and on appeal. Like death penalty offenses, sex offenses are matters of life in prison for my clients. Their future is my greatest concern.

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