caclr_header_template1 California Criminal Law Reporter

Recent Defense Victories

The trial court violated defendant’s right to a unanimous verdict (California Constitution) when it recorded a written guilty verdict after a polled juror replied that she had voted “not guilty” on that count. (584) (643)
When a polled juror disavows the written verdict but the court nevertheless records it, the court violates a defendant’s right to a unanimous verdict under the California Constitution. The defense was not required to object in order to preserve the issue, the error was structural, and double jeopardy prevents retrial on that count.
People v. Bailey ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 9596 (2nd Dist. 2018) September 20, 2018 (B275818)
Remand was ordered for a determination as to whether defendant was incompetent for a period of time after her Faretta motion was granted. (536)
Defendant argued that after the trial court granted her Faretta motion, her mental state deteriorated to the point that she was not competent to stand trial. Advisory counsel was not permitted to address the court with concerns regarding defendant’s condition. The matter was remanded for a determination as to whether defendant was competent during that time period.
In re Sims ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 9385 (4th Dist. 2018) September 14, 2018 (E069440)
The trial court properly dismissed an SVP petition where defendant spent 17 years in state hospitals awaiting trial. (588)
The 17-year delay in bringing to trial a Sexually Violent Predator Act petition violated defendant’s due process right to a timely trial. While a substantial portion of the delay resulted from the failure of his individual appointed attorneys to move the case forward, the extraordinary length of the delay resulted from a systematic breakdown in the public defender systems, and must be attributed to the state. The breakdown forced defendant to choose between having prepared counsel and a timely trial, and under the constitution, he had a right to both.
People v. Superior Court (Vasquez) ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 9298 (2nd Dist. 2018) September 12, 2018 (B287946)
The trial court erred at the Prop 36 resentencing hearing by failing to consider all aspects of the sentence. (121)
Defendant, a three strikes prisoner who was serving an indeterminate life sentence, successfully filed a petition for resentencing under Prop 36 (Penal Code section 1170.126.) The trial court thereafter erred when resentencing him as it refused to consider all aspects of his sentence, including exercising its discretion under section 1385, deciding on concurrent sentences and the application of section 654.
People v. Hubbard ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 9158 (3rd Dist. 2018) September 11, 2018 (C082799)
Defendant need not announce “Ready” to start 10-day grace period for trial beyond 45 days to begin. (588)
A defendant charged with a misdemeanor has a right to be brought to trial within 45 days after the arraignment if not in custody. If defendant consents to a trial date after 45 days, he or she must be brought to trial on the date set for trial, or within 10 days thereafter. Defendant consented to a trial date after the 45 day period. The matter was continued beyond 10 days after that date. Defendant moved to dismiss. The trial court erred by finding the 10-day grace period didn’t begin until defendant announced “Ready” for trial. Such an announcement is not required and all that matters is that the record shows defendant’s actual readiness for immediate trial.
Pogosyan v. Superior Court ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 9004 (2nd Dist. 2018) September 05, 2018 (B288362)
Remand was required under Gutierrez so the court could consider youthful factors in determining whether the functional LWOP term for a 17 year-old was cruel and unusual. (816)
Defendant was sentenced to 55 years-to-life for a second degree murder he committed as a 17 year-old. The sentence included other enhancements, including a strike prior. The trial court considered defendant’s youth when denying his request to dismiss the strike prior. However, given that defendant’s sentence was equivalent to a life without possibility of parole term, a remand was required under People v. Gutierrez (2014) 58 Cal.4th 1354, to allow the court to consider the “distinctive attributes of youth” in considering whether the sentence was cruel and unusual.
People v. Carter ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 8954 (3rd Dist. 2018) September 05, 2018 (C074051)