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Retroactivity of Assembly Bill No. 333’s Provision Permitting the Bifurcation of Gang Allegations at Trial

Briefing in People v. Burgos (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 550, review granted 7/13/2022 (S274743) was initially deferred pending decision in People v. Tran (2022) 13 Cal.5th 1169 (S165998). On 10/12/2022, the court ordered briefing on the following issue: Does the provision of Penal Code section 1109 governing the bifurcation at trial of gang enhancements from the substantive offense or offenses apply retroactively to cases that…

Case: People v. Burgos (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 550, review granted 7/13/2022
Case Number: S274743/H045212
Updated: August 30, 2023
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Drug Overdose as Implicit Waiver of Right to be Present at Trial / No Continuance for Defendant to Testify

(1) Did the trial court err in ruling that defendant's overdose on heroin during his jury trial was an implicit waiver of his right to be present and made him voluntarily absent within the meaning of Penal Code section 1043, subdivision (b)(2)? (2) Did the trial court err in denying the defense motion for a one-day continuance to permit defendant…

Case: People v. Ramirez (2022) 14 Cal.5th 176
Case Number: S262010/F076126
Updated: December 5, 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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Batson/Wheeler–Discovery of Prosecutor’s Jury Selection Notes

Does Penal Code section 1054.9 entitle an eligible defendant to discovery of a trial prosecutor's notes about jury selection with respect to a claim of Batson/Wheeler (Batson v. Kentucky (1986) 476 U.S. 79; People v. Wheeler (1978) 22 Cal.3d 258) error at trial? Trial court properly granted defendant’s postconviction discovery request for the prosecution’s jury selection notes where the prosecution impliedly waived any work product…

Case: People v. Superior Court (Jones) (2021) 12 Cal.5th 348
Case Number: S255826
Updated: December 2, 2021
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Assembly Bill No. 333 and Bifurcation of Gang Allegations at Trial

People v. Tran, S165998, an automatic appeal, included an issue involving the retroactivity of the provision in Assembly Bill No. 333 (Stats. 2021, ch. 699) permitting the bifurcation of gang allegations at trial (Pen. Code, § 1109). Held: "The question of whether section 1109 applies retroactively is the subject of a split of authority among the Courts of Appeal. (See e.g., People v.…

Case: People v. Tran (2022) 13 Cal.5th 1169
Case Number: S165998
Updated: September 21, 2022
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Confrontation Clause–Admitting Codefendant’s Redacted Confession that Inculpates a Defendant

Whether admitting a codefendant's redacted out-of-court confession that immediately inculpates a defendant based on the surrounding context violates the defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. Held: Prosecutors have long tried criminal defendants jointly in cases where the defendants are alleged to have engaged in a common criminal scheme. However, when prosecutors seek to introduce a nontestifying…

Case: Samia v. United States (2023) __ U.S. __
Case Number: 22-196
Updated: June 23, 2023
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Proper Remedy for Government’s Failure to Prove Venue

Whether the proper remedy for the government’s failure to prove venue is an acquittal barring re-prosecution of the offense, as the Fifth and Eighth Circuits have held, or whether instead the government may re-try the defendant for the same offense in a different venue, as the Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits have held. The U.S. Constitution permits retrial when…

Case: Smith v. United States (2023) __ U.S. __ [143 S.Ct. 1594]
Case Number: 21–1576
Updated: June 15, 2023
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