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Name: People v. Quintanilla
Case #: A104009
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/06/2005
Summary

Quintanilla was convicted of several sex offenses as well as domestic violence offenses against the same victim, a cohabitant. On appeal, he argued that the trial court erred by modifying CALJIC No. 2.50.02, which instructs the jury on the inference of criminal propensity which may be drawn from the defendant’s commission of uncharged domestic violence offenses, to permit the jury in this case to draw a propensity inference from other charged offenses. The appellate court agreed, but found the error harmless. Evidence of uncharged offenses to show propensity is not a due process violation because the trial court has the discretion to exclude it if it is unduly prejudicial. However, admission of evidence of charged offenses carries no such due process protection. The error was harmless because the victim’s injuries strongly supported the convictions.