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Procedures When Appointed Counsel Determines that an Appeal from an Order Denying Postconviction Relief Lacks Arguable Merit

(1) What procedures must appointed counsel and the Courts of Appeal follow when counsel determines that an appeal from an order denying postconviction relief lacks arguable merit? (2) Are defendants entitled to notice of these procedures? Held: In People v. Wende (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436 [158 Cal. Rptr. 839, 600 P.2d 1071] (Wende), we held the Courts of Appeal must…

Case: People v. Delgadillo (2022) 14 Cal.5th 216
Case Number: S266305
Updated: February 15, 2023
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True Finding on Gang-Killing Special Circumstance and Chiu Error / Harmless Error Review

(1) Does a true finding on a gang-killing special circumstance (Pen. Code, §190.2, subd. (a)(22)) render Chiu error (People v. Chiu (2014) 59 Cal.4th 155) harmless? (2) To what extent or in what manner, if any, may a reviewing court consider the evidence in favor of a legally valid theory in assessing whether it is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the jury…

Case: In re Lopez (2023) 14 Cal.5th 562
Case Number: S258912
Updated: April 3, 2023
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Prejudice Standard on Appeal for SB 567 Issue

What prejudice standard applies on appeal when determining whether a case should be remanded for resentencing in light of newly-enacted Senate Bill No. 567 (Stats. 2021, ch. 731)? Review on this issue has also been granted with briefing deferred in: First District People v. Whyte (A160769) [nonpub. opn.], review granted 1/11/2023 (S277463) People v. Ross (A163242) [nonpub. opn.], review granted…

Case: People v. Lynch (May 27, 2022, C094174) [nonpub. opn.], review granted 8/10/2022
Case Number: S274942/C094174
Updated: April 10, 2024
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Mistake of Fact Instructional Error and Prejudice Standard

Did the Court of Appeal err in holding an instructional error on the defense of mistake of fact harmless? In the circumstances of this case, which standard of prejudice applies to an error in instructing on the defense of mistake of fact: that of People v. Watson (1956) 46 Cal.2d 818 or that of Chapman v. California (1967) 386 U.S. 18? Held: Early one…

Case: People v. Hendrix (2022) 13 Cal.5th 933
Case Number: S265668
Updated: August 22, 2022
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Jury Instruction on Voluntary Manslaughter Based on Imperfect Self-Defense and Prejudice Standard

(1) Was the trial court's error in refusing to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter based on imperfect self-defense harmless? (2) What standard of prejudice applies to such an error? When a defendant presents substantial evidence of imperfect self-defense, the trial court’s failure to instruct on that theory precludes the jury from making a factual finding essential to prove the…

Case: People v. Schuller (2023) 15 Cal.5th 237
Case Number: S272237
Updated: August 17, 2023
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Retroactive Application of AB 333 Where Defendant Appeals for Second Time After Limited Remand to Address Sentencing Issues

Is defendant entitled to retroactive application of Assembly Bill No. 333 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.) where he appeals for a second time after his judgment was conditionally reversed and the Court of Appeal issued a limited remand to the trial court to address sentencing issues? The request for an order directing depublication of the opinion was denied. Review on this issue…

Case: People v. Lopez (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 1110, review granted 11/15/2023
Case Number: S281488/E080032
Updated: February 21, 2024
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May the People Seek Review of a Superior Court’s Post-Preliminary Hearing, Prejudgment Order Reducing Felony “Wobbler” Offense to a Misdemeanor?

(1) Does Penal Code section 1238 authorize an appeal by the People from a superior court’s post-preliminary hearing, prejudgment order reducing a felony “wobbler” offense to a misdemeanor? (2) If not, may the People obtain review of the order by petition for extraordinary writ? On 12/5/2023, the People filed a motion to dismiss review. The Real Party in Interest (defendant…

Case: People v. Superior Court (Mitchell) (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 595, review granted 11/21/2023
Case Number: S281950/B326653
Updated: January 10, 2024
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