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Name: People v. Calderon
Case #: B167621
Opinion Date: 11/16/2004
Division: 7
Citation: 124 Cal.App.4th 80
Summary

A trial court properly excluded expert testimony regarding the suitability of various types of involuntary treatment at a trial under the Sexually Violent Predator Act. On appeal after his commitment under that act, the defendant argued that the trial court had improperly excluded evidence relevant to the finding that he was a danger to the health and safety of others, specifically evidence from several defense experts regarding treatment plans they had developed for the defendant, including a plan that involved placing him under conservatorship. Defendant relied on People v. Superior Court (Ghilotti) (2002) 27 Cal.4th 888, in which the Supreme Court held that a court should consider evidence regarding a defendant’s amenability to voluntary treatment in assessing future dangerousness. The court of appeal here distinguished Ghilotti, because the evidence offered in this case related to involuntary courses of treatment rather than voluntary treatment, and both Ghilotti and the text of the SVPA refer specifically to considerations of amenability to voluntary treatment. Further, conservatorship under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act is not necessarily an appropriate alternative to SVPA commitment, and the proferred evidence was likely to have confused the jury about its alternatives. The court further held that the court did not err in failing to offer a sua sponte instruction asking the jury to consider whether custody in a secure facility was necessary to ensure that defendant did not pose a danger to others, because defendant failed to provide positive evidence as to his amenability to voluntary treatment. Finally, the court rejected defendant’s arguments that the SVPA violated the ex post facto and equal protection clauses of the United States Constitution.