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Name: People v. Moreda
Case #: A098565
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/11/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 8/18/04

Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, plus a consecutive 25 years to life term because of the use of a firearm in the offense. He filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied by a judge who did not preside over the jury trial. On appeal he contended that the judgment had to be reversed because the denial of the motion constituted a violation of due process, arguing that he was entitled to have the trial judge who presided at trial determine whether the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The appellate court here rejected appellant’s arguments. Appellant did not have the right to demand or expect that the same judge who presided at trial would rule on the new trial motion. Further, the fact that the new judge did not preside at trial did not preclude him from competently performing his function to review the evidence and determine whether it supported the verdict. Nor were appellant’s due process rights violated, because there is no state conferred right to have a resolution of a new trial motion from the judge who presided at trial.