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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: B137144
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/18/2000
Subsequent History: Review granted 10/25/00 (S090836) and cause transferred to DCA 2, Div. 6, with directions to vacate its decision and reconsider in light of People v. Box (2000) 23 Cal.4th 1153, 1188, fn. 7
Summary

The trial court properly found no evidence of discrimination where the prosecution had nondiscriminatory reasons for excusing four Hispanic jurors. One of the jurors had family members who had been arrested, and several in prison; one juror had two prior convictions of his own; and the third juror’s father had been arrested for spousal abuse, and he was also unwilling to sit on the jury for financial reasons. The fourth juror was a single mother of two who had “insufficient life experience” and claimed to have been recently hired at the store which was the victim of the charged robbery. A de novo review of the voir dire revealed ample reasons for dismissing the Hispanic jurors, and there was no “reasonable inference” of a discriminatory purpose. Therefore, even if the court applied the wrong standard under People v. Wheeler (1978) 22 Cal.3d 258, by requiring a “strong likelihood” of discrimination, there was no error because there was also no “reasonable inference” under the federal standard set forth by Batson v. Kentucky (1986 ) 476 U.S. 79. Appellant Quintero was not deprived of his right to conflict-free counsel because he was represented at trial by a lawyer who had recently been hired by the district attorney’s office and was currently in a prosecutor’s training seminar. The lawyer was an associate in the firm representing Quintero, and neither the firm nor Quintero objected. The issue was never raised until sentencing, and the lawyer in question did not represent Quintero at the sentencing hearing. Absent an objection, an actual conflict of interest affecting the lawyer’s performance must be shown. Assuming that the new employment was a potential conflict, there was no evidence in the record that it compromised Quintero’s right to vigorous representation, and therefore no error. Nor was there a conflict of interest where trial counsel was denied the right to withdraw. Quintero was originally appointed counsel, but then retained private counsel to represent him. Counsel maintained he had been paid to “settle” the case, not to go to trial, and moved to withdraw when the case went to trial. His declaration stated that Quintero’s inability to pay created a conflict of interest. The trial court’s denial of the motion was moot unless counsel’s representation resulted in actual prejudice to Quintero. Since Quintero was vigorously represented, there was no conflict of interest, and therefore no error. There was sufficient evidence to support an enhancement for personal use of a firearm during the robbery pursuant to Penal Code section 12022.53 where the robbery victim testified that Martinez was the gunman, and other circumstantial evidence supported the victim’s testimony. It is not the appellate court’s duty to weigh whether the identification was made under great stress and substitute its judgment for that of the jury.