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Name: People v. Allen
Case #: E039518
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/16/2006
Subsequent History: 2/28/07 Rev. Granted: S148949

At his SVP recommitment trial, appellant advised the court that he wished to testify over his attorney’s objection. The attorney stated that appellant intended to testify that his victims consented to the offenses, that he refused to take medication to treat his disorder, and that the staff at Atascadero was flirting with him and making advances towards him. The trial court stated that it would exclude any testimony about consent as it was irrelevant, and that the rest of the testimony would be counterproductive. The court excluded appellant’s testimony because it believed it would not be in appellant’s best interest. Following his conviction, appellant contended on appeal that he was denied his constitutional right to testify. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. Appellant did not have a constitutional right to testify over his attorney’s objection because SVP proceedings are of a civil nature and appellant’s attorney could waive his right to testify on the ground that doing so would be harmful to the defense. Further, any error would have been harmless under any standard because of the overwhelming evidence against appellant.