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Name: People v. Roldan
Case #: S030644
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 04/25/2005
Subsequent History: Rehg. den. 6/8/05

The trial court did not err in denying a continuance based on threats made against defense counsel by a defendant in a capital case. A psychiatrist examining the defendant had informed both the prosecutor and defense counsel that the defendant had made threats against their lives. Counsel sought a continuance to try to resolve his issues with the defendant, arguing that the stress caused by the apparently credible threat made him unable to proceed. The Supreme Court found no error in the denial of the requested continuance, upholding the trial court’s finding that the threat was an attempt by defendant to delay the trial, and noting that the administration of justice cannot countenance such delays. The Court found no prejudicial conflict of interest in counsel’s continued representation of the defendant, again noting that courts must not encourage defendants to manufacture delays and conflicts by making threats against defense counsel. The Court likewise upheld the denial of defendant’s Marsden and Faretta motions due to untimeliness.