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Name: People v. Gabriel
Case #: B228244
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/24/2012
Subsequent History: opn. on rehg.
Summary

Felony convictions for possession of an assault weapon and cultivation of marijuana are crimes of moral turpitude and may be used to impeach a witness. Appellant appealed his conviction for cultivation of marijuana and other offenses. He argued the trial court erred in allowing the prosecution to use his prior felony convictions for possession of an assault weapon and cultivation of marijuana to impeach his testimony, asserting these were not crimes of moral turpitude. Affirmed. In outlawing assault weapons the Legislature sought to “outlaw[] a class of instruments normally used only for criminal purposes.” These weapons cause greater harm to the public than other firearms and their possession evidences a “readiness to do evil.” Likewise, cultivation of marijuana is a crime of moral turpitude. The penalties for cultivation of marijuana remain serious despite the fact the penalties for possession of marijuana have been reduced. The more severe penalty for cultivation relates to restriction of the supply of marijuana to reduce potential drug trafficking. “Crimes related to trafficking involve moral turpitude.” In any event, there was no prejudice resulting from the impeachment, as the prosecution’s case was strong and defendant’s testimony implausible.