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Name: People v. Evans
Case #: A107822
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/24/2006
Subsequent History: Review granted 4/26/06: S141357
Summary

Evans was convicted of receiving stolen property and the court found allegations of prior convictions and prison terms true. At sentencing, his counsel stated that there was no legal cause that judgment should not be pronounced, but made arguments for probation, and concerning a restitution issue. After resolving the restitution issue, the court asked if the matter was submitted, and counsel agreed. Evans then requested to speak, and the court refused to allow him to do so. He was sentenced to five years in state prison. On appeal, Evans argued that he was denied his constitutional and statutory right of allocution. The appellate court rejected his argument and affirmed. Penal Code section 1200 mandates that the defendant must be asked if there is legal cause to show why judgment should not be pronounced. Here the court complied with that section, and counsel responded that there was no cause. The statute does not confer a right to make a personal statement, nor is it necessary to follow In re Shannon B., which interpreted the section to confer that right. Nor is it persuasive that the Ninth Circuit has recognized a constitutional right. Further, even if there were a right to allocution, the judge here had already begun to pronounce sentence and any error was harmless, because Evans sentence would not have been any different if he had spoken.