Tag Archives: Apprendi


Proof of Prior Convictions: The Constitutional Right to a Jury Trial “Sweeps More Broadly than Our Case Law Previously Recognized”
February 26th, 2018

People v. Gallardo (2017) 4 Cal.5th 120 (rehearing denied 1/24/18) determined that the trial court violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial when it found a disputed fact about the conduct underlying the defendant’s prior assault conviction that had not been established by virtue of the conviction itself:   “We today hold […]


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Propriety of Juror and Factual Finding Re: Aggravating Circumstance
December 11th, 2015

The California Supreme Court has expressly ruled that the determination of whether there were aggravating circumstances to permit an enhanced sentence is not an issue which should be presented to a jury. (People v. Sandoval (2007) 41 Cal. 4th 825.) The Court of Appeal has ruled that the prosecution is not permitted to allege aggravating […]


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Involuntary Manslaughter: Existence of Legal Duty As Jury Question
August 10th, 2015

The Bench Notes state that the determination of whether a defendant has a legal duty is one to be decided by the judge, not the jury. However, this conclusion violates United States Supreme Court precedents which require that every element of an enhancement must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt and found true by a […]


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Substantial Evidence Of Guilt Does Not Cure Instruction That Omits Or Misstates An Element Of The Charged Offense
February 6th, 2015

  As with the total failure to instruct on an element of the charge, misinstruction on an element warrants reversal if “the jury could have reasonably concluded that the prosecution failed to prove [the element] beyond a reasonable doubt ….” (People v. Wilkins (2013) 56 Cal. 4th 333, 350-51.) This requires the reviewing court to […]


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Aider And Abettor: Natural And Probable Consequences – Unanimity As To Commission Of Nontarget Offense
January 21st, 2015

  The majority opinion in People v. Smith (2014) 60 Cal. 4th 603 concluded that the requirement of juror unanimity as to all essential elements of the charge does not apply to commission of the nontarget offense alleged under the natural and probable consequences doctrine:    The prosecution theory was that Littleton was the killer. […]


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Court Should Decide Whether Defendant’s Conduct Is Constitutionally Protected
March 30th, 2014

  On April 23, 2010, CC 1301 was revised to delete element 4 which required the prosecution to prove that “The defendant’s course of conduct was not constitutionally protected.” According to the CC Committee,“whether conduct is constitutionally protected is not an issue for the jury to decide.” CC 1301 was further revised to instruct the […]


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