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Name: People v. Wilkinson
Case #: S111028
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/29/2004

The statutory scheme governing battery on a custodial officer does not violate equal protection. The defendant argued that the statutes violated equal protection because they allowed battery on a custodial officer without injury to be punished more severely than battery on a custodial officer with injury. Applying the rational basis test, the Supreme Court held that the minor inconsistencies in sentencing options did not render the statutory scheme unconstitutional. Further, in light of the categorical prohibition on the admission of polygraph evidence in Penal Code section 351.1, the trial court did not err in declining to hold a Kelly/Frye hearing regarding the evidence proffered by defendant. The defense was that, on the night that she allegedly battered the officers at the county jail, the defendant had unwittingly ingested GHB. She offered testimony from a toxicologist to support the defense, and wished to offer evidence of a lie-detector test she had taken to establish that she had not willingly ingested the drug. The court below declined to hold a Kelly/Frye hearing, and the Supreme Court held that in light of section 351.1, the trial court’s action was proper.