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Constitutionality of Three Strikes Law–Requiring Prosecutors to Plead and Prove Prior Convictions

(1) Does the Three Strikes law (Pen. Code, §§ 667, subds. (b)-(i), 1170.12) violate the separation of powers doctrine by requiring prosecutors to plead and prove prior qualifying felony convictions? (2) If there is a duty to plead prior qualifying convictions, is mandamus the proper remedy to compel a prosecutor to act?  

Case: The Association of Deputy District Attorneys v. Gascón (2022) 79 Cal.App.5th 503, review granted 8/31/2022
Case Number: S275478/B310845
Updated: August 31, 2022
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Does AB 333 Unconstitutionally Amend the Requirements for a True Finding on a Prior Strike Conviction and a Prior Serious Felony Conviction?

(1) Does Assembly Bill No. 333 amend the requirements for a true finding on a prior strike conviction (Pen. Code, §§ 667, subds. (b)–(i) & 1170.12, subds. (a)–(d)) and a prior serious felony conviction (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (a)), or is that determination made on “the date of that prior conviction”? (See Pen. Code, §§ 667, subd. (d)(1) &…

Case: People v. Fletcher (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 1374, review granted 9/27/2023
Case Number: S281282/E077553
Updated: January 10, 2024
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Appropriate Test for Determining Whether a “True Threat” is Unprotected By the First Amendment

Whether, to establish that a statement is a “true threat” unprotected by the First Amendment, the government must show that the speaker subjectively knew or intended the threatening nature of the statement, or whether it is enough to show that an objective “reasonable person” would regard the statement as a threat of violence. Held: True threats of violence are outside…

Case: Counterman v. Colorado (2023) __ U.S. __
Case Number: 22-138
Updated: June 27, 2023
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IAC for Failure to Investigate and Appellate Review of IAC Claim

(1) Did defense counsel render ineffective assistance by failing to consult a qualified expert on determining time of death and failing to present evidence regarding defendant's clothing around the time of the crime? (2) Did the decision of the Court of Appeal adhere to the controlling standards of appellate review? [Editor's Note: In 2015, the Supreme Court issued an order to…

Case: People v. Long (2020) 10 Cal.5th 764
Case Number: S249274
Updated: November 30, 2020
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Double Jeopardy

Did the Court of Appeal err by holding that double jeopardy prevents retrial of defendant for first degree murder where the jury did not return a verdict on that offense and deadlocked on the lesser included offenses of second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, because the trial court failed to afford the jury an opportunity to return a partial acquittal…

Case: People v. Aranda (2019) 6 Cal.5th 1077
Case Number: S214116
Updated: April 4, 2019
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Finality for Ameliorative Change in Law When Judgment is Later Vacated, Altered, or Amended and a New Sentence Imposed

When a judgment becomes final, but is later vacated, altered, or amended and a new sentence imposed, is the case no longer final for the purpose of applying an intervening ameliorative change in the law? Proposition 57 applies to juvenile offender’s resentencing because his judgment became nonfinal when his original sentence was vacated during habeas proceedings and his case was…

Case: People v. Padilla (2022) 13 Cal.5th 152
Case Number: S263375
Updated: May 26, 2022
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Does the Double Jeopardy Clause Prohibit Second Prosecution for Crime of which Defendant Was Previously Acquitted?

The Georgia Supreme Court held that a jury’s verdict of acquittal on one criminal charge and its verdict of guilty on a different criminal charge arising from the same facts were logically and legally impossible to reconcile. It called the verdicts “repugnant,” vacated both of them, and subsequently held that the defendant could be prosecuted a second time on both…

Case: McElrath v. Georgia (2024) ___U.S.___ [144 S.Ct. 651]
Case Number: 22-721
Updated: February 21, 2024
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