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Name: People v. Robinson (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 133
Case #: A165379
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/01/2024

A certificate of probable cause is required for claims of error concerning pretrial mental health diversion (Pen. Code, § 1001.36) following a guilty plea, including ineffective assistance of counsel. Defendant pleaded no contest to two felonies. He appealed but did not obtain a certificate of probable cause (CPC). On appeal, he argued trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request pretrial mental health diversion, that the trial court violated its sua sponte duty to consider defendant’s eligibility for diversion, and that the claims were cognizable on appeal without a CPC because they were based on the “sentence or other matters occurring…

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Name: United States v. Yepiz
Case #: 07-50051
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/20/2016

Prosecution may have violated Brady by failing to disclose extent of witness's relationship with law enforcement. Yepiz and eight other codefendants were convicted of a number of offenses, including violations of the RICO Act. They appealed on various grounds including Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, 87. During trial, the prosecution had represented to the defense that none of its witnesses received benefits in exchange for their testimony. On cross-examination, however, one witness, Bulgarian, testified that he had been paid $5,000. While the appeal was pending, the defense discovered that Bulgarian testified in a different case that law enforcement…

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Name: Johnson v. Williams
Case #: 11-465
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 02/20/2013
Subsequent History: 133 S.Ct. 1088; 185 L.Ed.2d 105

A claim has been "adjudicated on the merits" in the state court and is subject to deferential review under AEDPA when the state court issues an opinion that addresses some of the defendant's issues, but not the federal claim. Defendant was convicted of felony murder based on a killing during a robbery in 1993. On appeal in the state court, defendant raised a Sixth Amendment claim based on the trial court's removal of a juror. After losing in the state courts on direct appeal and habeas proceedings, she filed for relief in federal court. The district court applied AEDPA's deferential…

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Name: People v. Serrano
Case #: H036373
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/28/2012

When an appeal originates from a postconviction proceeding rather than a first appeal of right, the Court of Appeal is not required to conduct a Wende review. Appellant faced deportation as a result of a criminal conviction. He initially appealed the conviction but voluntarily abandoned his appeal. After he served his prison sentence, he filed a motion in the trial court to vacate the conviction based on the trial court's alleged failure to provide a Penal Code section 1016.5 admonition (regarding immigration consequences) at the time of the plea. He also alleged he did not understand the plea and his…

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Name: People v. Polk
Case #: A117633
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/13/2010

Defendant's failure to make a timely and specific objection on the ground asserted on appeal makes that ground not cognizable. Appellant was charged with her husband's murder. The first trial resulted in a mistrial when defense counsel suffered a family tragedy. Appellant represented herself at the second trial. At both trials, a Miranda issue was raised, specifically contending appellant's statements to the police were coerced. Following an evidentiary hearing, the court declined to suppress appellant's statements, finding no coercion. On appeal, appellant claimed that the Miranda warnings were inadequate because appellant was not advised that if she elected to provide…

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Name: People v. Ennis
Case #: G041481
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/01/2010

The "inherent improbability" standard for rejecting evidence on appeal applies only when evidence is physically impossible or false on its face without resort to inferences or deductions. A jury found appellant guilty of various sex offenses based on the sexual abuse of his daughter and step-daughter. Appellant argued on appeal the convictions should be reversed because the girls' statements were "inherently improbable and unworthy of belief" since one of the girls recanted at trial and there were inconsistencies in the testimony of the other. The court rejected the claim. Reviewing courts almost never reverse a judgment by applying the inherent…

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Name: People v. Wilkinson
Case #: F057537
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/09/2010

A person facing civil commitment, based on mental retardation and dangerousness to herself and others pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 6500, has a right to be present at the hearing. The potential loss of liberty entitles the person to substantial procedural safeguards similar to a criminal defendant. Appointed counsel waived the client's presence, without consulting with her and against her expressed desire to be present. The attorney's authority to control procedural matters in a civil case does not authorize the relinquishment of substantial rights, such as the right to be present, without the client's consent. The court could…

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Name: Ponce v. Felker
Case #: 08-56218
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/24/2010

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Giles v. California (2008) 128 S.Ct. 2678, holding that the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception to the right of confrontation applies only if the defendant specifically intended to prevent the witness from testifying is a new rule of law that does not apply retroactively. At appellant's trial for killing his ex-girlfriend, the court allowed two witnesses to testify about the victim's statements and actions that suggested she feared appellant. The state court rejected appellant's confrontation clause arguments based on the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception. After the federal…

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Name: Chioino v. Kernan
Case #: 08-15265
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/21/2009

When the reviewing court finds Cunningham/Blakely error, the remedy is remand for resentencing, as opposed to an order for imposition of amended sentence. In the state court, petitioner pled guilty to robbery and accompanying enhancements and was sentenced to the upper term for the robbery. Petitioner appealed, contending the trial court erred in selecting the upper term because he was denied his right to a jury trial on factors supporting the upper term. (Blakely v. Washington (2004) 543 U.S. 296.) The state appellate court found no error. Two years later Cunningham v. California (2007)549 U.S.…

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Name: People v. Mena
Case #: D052091
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/19/2009
Subsequent History: rev. granted 8/26/09, S173973

When a defendant fails to challenge the denial of a line-up motion with a peremptory writ, the issue is waived for direct appeal purposes. Appellant was convicted by jury trial of two counts of assault with gang enhancements and one count of carrying a concealed dagger. At the preliminary hearing, he joined his codefendant in a motion to compel a live physical line-up attended by one of the two victims, but the trial court denied the motion, finding that there was no reasonable likelihood that a misidentification would be addressed by a line-up. Appellant did not pursue the denial with…

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