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Name: Johnson v. Superior Court (Los Angeles County)
Case #: B266421
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/27/2016

Prosecution failed to rebut presumption of vindictiveness for adding additional murder charges after defendant successfully appealed his convictions. In 1997 Johnson was convicted of two murders with special circumstances and sentenced to death. In 2011 his judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial. Prior to retrial, the prosecution added four new murder charges, an attempted murder charge, and gang enhancements. Johnson's motion to dismiss for vindictive prosecution was denied and he petitioned for writ of mandate. Held: Granted in part. The due process clauses of the state and federal Constitutions prohibit the state from punishing…

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Name: People v. Vizcarra
Case #: D065579
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/30/2015

In second appeal following resentencing to correct an unauthorized sentence, appellant was barred from raising claim that an increase in his aggregate prison sentence was illegal because the same claim was rejected in his first appeal. A jury convicted Vizcarra of gang-related crimes and found true a strike prior. Vizcarra was sentenced to an aggregate term of 15 years and appealed. In the respondent's brief during his first appeal, the People argued that the trial court entered an unauthorized sentence because it did not double the sentence for one of Vizcarra's convictions under the Three Strikes law and did not…

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Name: People v. Puentes
Case #: H034546
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/20/2010

The presumption of vindictive prosecution after the defendant exercised the right to appeal was not rebutted. In this second appeal, appellant argued he was penalized for appealing when the prosecution recharged the felony it had sought to dismiss in the interests of justice after his misdemeanor conviction was reversed on appeal. The Court of Appeal agreed. There is a presumption of vindictiveness when the prosecution ups the ante with more serious charges after a defendant has exercised a post-conviction right. The court rejected respondent's claim that the charges had not been escalated after the first appeal because…

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Name: People v. Delgado
Case #: G041561
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/15/2010

Penal Code section 784.7 allows prosecution of section 288 violations in any county where any of the offenses occurred. Appellant was convicted of sexually abusing two boys over a 13-year period. The acts against one victim occurred in Los Angeles County, and the acts against the other in Riverside. The crimes were prosecuted in Riverside County, and the Los Angeles District Attorney consented to appellant's prosecution there. Appellant argued that prosecution of the Los Angeles offenses in Riverside violated his federal vicinage right. The appellate court said it was bound by Price v. Superior Court (2001) 25 Cal.4th 1046, where…

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Name: People v. Torres
Case #: B163612
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/30/2005

At the sanity phase of his (second) trial, the court instructed the jury pursuant to CALJIC 4.00 on the definition of insanity, but modified the instruction by adding language further defining the word "wrong" to include both legal and moral wrongs, as defined by "society's generally accepted standards." The appellate court found error and reversed. As modified, the instruction required the defendant to meet the burden of proving he was incapable of distinguishing right from both moral and legal wrong at the time he committed the crimes. Appellant was prejudiced by the error because his statements afterwards…

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Name: People v. Harvest
Case #: A087494
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/31/2000
Subsequent History: Petn. rev. den. 2/28/01

There was no bar to ordering direct restitution to the victim following retrial because of the legal doctrines of waiver, estoppel, or laches. There is no statute of limitations on victim restitution, and estoppel would defeat the public policy considerations. There was no change in appellant's position due to the delay which would have supported an estoppel argument. The double jeopardy provisions of the California Constitution do not prohibit a trial court from imposing, for the first time, a direct restitution order to a victim following retrial after appeal. Although the California Supreme Court held in…

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