CALIFORNIA CASE LAW UPDATE – Selected California Cases
California Supreme Court (March 1-31, 2012)
Grants of Review
Harrison v. Board of Parole Hearings (3/14/2012, S199830) 202 CA4th 340: Are the evaluation and certification requirements of PC 2962(d) substantive requirements for the initial commitment of a mentally disorder offender that must be admitted by the offender or found true by the trier of fact?
People v. Hass REV GTD (3/14/2012, S199833) 2011 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9857: Briefing deferred pending decision in People v. Mosley REV GTD (3/24/2009, S187965) 188 CA4th 1090, which includes the following issue: Does the discretionary imposition of lifetime sex offender registration, which includes residency restrictions that prohibit registered sex offenders from living “within 2000 feet of any public or private school, or park where children regularly gather” (PC 3003.5(b)), increase the “penalty” for the offense within the meaning of Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 US 466, and require that the facts supporting the trial court’s imposition of the registration requirement be found true by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt?
People v. Jerry Z. REV GTD (3/14/2012, S199289) 201 CA4th 296: Briefing deferred pending decision in Doe v. Harris REV GTD (6/15/2011, S191948) (4/4/2011, 9th Cir. No. 09-17362) 640 F3d 972, which presents the following issue: Under California law of contract interpretation as applicable to the interpretation of plea agreements, does the law in effect at the time of a plea agreement bind the parties or can the terms of a plea agreement be affected by changes in the law?
People v. Martinez REV GTD (3/21/2012, S199495) 2011 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9426: (1) Did the trial court abuse its discretion in denying defendant’s motion to withdraw his 1992 guilty plea based on the failure of the trial court at the time of the plea to advise him of the immigration consequences of his plea, as mandated by PC 1016.5? (2) In ruling on such a motion, should a court consider, in addition to the defendant’s prospects at trial, factors such as the possibility that had the defendant been properly warned, he might have obtained an immigration-neutral disposition or might have preferred his chances at trial over the certainty of deportation if he entered the plea?
People v. Archuleta REV GTD (3/28/2012, S199979) 202 CA4th 493: Briefing deferred pending decision in People v. Dungo REV GTD (12/2/2009, S176886) 176 CA4th 1388, People v. Gutierrez REV GTD (12/2/2009, S176620) 177 CA4th 654, People v. Lopez REV GTD (12/2/2009, S177046) 177 CA4th 202, and People v. Rutterschmidt REV GTD (12/2/2009, S176213) 176 CA4th 1047, which present issues concerning the right of confrontation under the Sixth Amendment when the results of forensic tests performed by a criminalist who does not testify at trial are admitted into evidence and how the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (2009) 557 US ___ [174 LEd2d 314; 129 SCt 2527], affects this court’s decision in People v. Geier (2007) 41 CA4th 555.
California Courts of Appeal (March 1-31, 2012)
Hearsay: Computerized Photographs. People v. Goldsmith (Pub’d 3/1/2012, B231678) 203 CA4th 1515: Admission of computer generated evidence (red light camera) does not require a hearsay exception and there is a presumption that printed representations of computer data are accurate.
Double Jeopardy: Sufficiency Of Evidence Raised But Not Addressed On The First Appeal. People v. Wensinger (3/7/2012, G044400) 204 CA4th 90: Defendant could not be retried for criminal threats where, on the first appeal, the Attorney General conceded the insufficiency of the evidence, but the Court of Appeal failed to address the sufficiency issue because it was remanding the case for other error. Even though the Court of Appeal reversed the entire case for a retrial, that is immaterial to the issue whether there was sufficient evidence to prove criminal threats in the first trial. When the defense sought to dismiss the criminal threats count, the court should have either accepted the prosecution concession that there was insufficient evidence of the offense presented in the first trial and granted the motion, or reviewed the record of the first trial to determine whether there was adequate evidence to support the conviction. The trial court erred by declining to review the sufficiency of the evidence of criminal threats.
Aggravated Mayhem: Intent. People v. Horvath (3/8/2012, C063198) 204 CA4th 100: Systematic beatings likely to cause disfigurement of a victim over a period of time may provide sufficient evidence of the intent required for aggravated mayhem.
5th Amendment: Right To Remain Silent. People v. Tom (3/19/2012, A124765) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 321: The Fifth Amendment right to remain silent attaches at the time of arrest, or coercive circumstances which constitute a de facto arrest, and the prosecution violates that right by presenting evidence of the defendant’s silence in their case in chief.
Juror Absent During Oral Rendition Of Verdict. People v. Garcia (3/20/2012, G044232) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 329: The defendant is denied a unanimous verdict when one of the 12 jurors has been excused and is not present for the oral rendition of the verdict.
Duran: Jury Composition Challenge. People v. Romero (3/27/2012, C062495) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 349: Defendant’s Sixth Amendment claim that Hispanics and Asian-Americans are underrepresented on grand juries fails because there was no prima facie showing of systematic exclusion in the jury selection process.
Mandatory Sex Offender Registration For PC 288(a). People v. Tuck (3/27/2012, A131624) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 351: Mandatory sex registration for a defendant convicted of violating PC 288(a) does not violate equal protection.
Involuntary Unconsciousness. People v. Wells (3/28/2012, C065806) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 352: Trial court commits reversible error by failing to instruct on involuntary unconsciousness when it is clear that the defendant is relying upon that defense.
U.S. Supreme Court
(March 1-31, 2012)
IAC: Plea Negotiations. Missouri v. Frye (3/21/2012, No. 10-444) ___ US ___ [012 U.S. LEXIS 2321]: The right to effective assistance of counsel includes the right to have any formal plea bargain offer communicated along with its fixed expiration date.
IAC: Plea Bargaining – Standard Of Prejudice. Lafler v. Cooper (3/21/2012, No. 10-209) 2012 U.S. LEXIS 2322: The prejudice showing required when there is ineffective assistance in plea bargaining is a demonstration of a reasonable probability that the outcome of the plea process would have been different with competent advice.