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Name: United States v. Wilmore
Case #: 03-10297
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/25/2004

A defendant’s right to confront his accuser under the Sixth Amendment was violated where the witness asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege and the trial court limited cross-examination about her grand jury testimony. Defendant’s wife was one of the principle witnesses against him at his trial for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and at the grand jury proceedings she testified that the defendant possessed both a jacket and a gun recovered by police. Before trial, she disavowed her grand jury testimony, and at trial, she denied having seen defendant with a gun. The prosecution impeached her…

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: A105199
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/31/2004
Subsequent History: 11/10/04 rev. den.

Johnson appealed from a judgment sending him to prison for a probation violation, contending that the admission of a hearsay lab report at the revocation hearing violated his constitutional rights under Crawford v. Washington. The appellate court here disagreed and affirmed. A lab report is not testimonial hearsay under Crawford. The lab report was not a substitute for live testimony at the hearing, but routine documentary…

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Name: People v. Adams
Case #: C040891
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/22/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 10/13/04: S127373

Admission of a victim’s statements to sheriff deputies violates the defendant’s right to confront witnesses under Crawford v. Washington (2004) 158 L.Ed.2d 177. Pursuant to Evidence Code section 1370, the court below admitted statements the victim made regarding the instant case and a previous uncharged offense. Both statements were made to law enforcement officers, and the victim did not testify at trial. Citing Crawford, the Court of Appeal held that the evidence was improperly admitted, and the error was not harmless beyond a reasonable…

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Name: People v. Cage
Case #: E034242
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/15/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 10/13/04: S127344

Neither an assault victim’s statements to the doctor who treated him for his injuries, nor his statement to a police officer engaged in informal fact gathering constitute testimonial evidence under Crawford v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 1354. Referring to the Crawford decision as "a paradigm shift in confrontation clause analysis," the court of appeal nonetheless held that because the doctor to whom the victim made his statements "was not performing any function remotely resembling that of a Tudor, Stuart, or Hanoverian justice of the peace," the framers of the constitution could not have intended to treat that statement as…

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Name: People v. Price
Case #: A101668
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/30/2004
Subsequent History: 10/13/04: Revw. denied

Crawford v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 1354 does not preclude admission of an out-of-court statement by a witness where the witness was available for cross-examination and was, in fact, cross-examined on the subject of her out-of-court statements. Here, the complaining witness was not available at trial, and the court admitted her prior hearsay statements via police testimony under Evidence Code section 1370. The court held that the statute was not unconstitutional as applied under Crawford, because defendant’s vigorous cross-examination of the witness at the preliminary hearing rendered her out-of-court statements both trustworthy under section 1370, and constitutionally admissible…

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Name: People v. Pirwani
Case #: H025395
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/21/2004

Appellant was a caretaker for a dependent adult, Ebaugh, who entrusted her finances to appellant. Ebaugh came into a large sum of money in 1999, which was gone by February, 2001. Shortly thereafter, Ebaugh died. Appellant was convicted of stealing the money. On appeal, appellant contended that her constitutional rights were violated at trial by the admission of two hearsay statements by Ebaugh: a videotaped statement made to police two days before she died, admitted into evidence under Evidence Code section 1380 (which creates a hearsay exception for statements made by elderly or dependent adults);…

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Name: People v. Sisavath
Case #: F0141885
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/27/2004
Subsequent History: Rehrg den. 6/10/04; Rev. den. 9/15/04

A sexual abuse victim's hearsay statements to a police officer and another interviewer were inadmissible under Crawford v. Washington (2004) __ U.S. __ [124 S.Ct. 1354]. The young victim in this case had been found incompetent to testify because she could not express herself so as to be understood and did not understand her duty to tell the truth. The prosecution then introduced testimony from a police officer and another interviewer who had spoken with the victim prior to trial, and because the witness was deemed to be unavailable, the testimony was admitted. The Court of Appeal…

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Name: People v. Warner
Case #: C038245
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/10/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 9/15/04: S126233

On remand from the California Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal was directed to reconsider whether defendant’s prior conviction from Nebraska constituted a serious felony under Penal Code section 667, subdivisions (a) and (b) through (i). Defendant had been convicted under a Nebraska statute criminalizing intentional touching of a minor aged 14 years or younger. In order to qualify as a serious felony under California law, the defendant’s prior must have involved "a lewd or lascivious act on a child under the age of 14 years." Noting that it was not limited to consideration of the least-adjudicated…

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Name: Arredondo v. Ortiz
Case #: 01-57166
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/20/2004
Subsequent History: Cert. den. 10/4/04

A witness’s invocation of the privilege against self-incrimination may extend to collateral matters regarding cross examination, and thus a trial court’s refusal to order the witness to testify did not violate the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to present a defense. Here the witness refused to testify because he was advised that if he were impeached with his prior convictions during his testimony and admitted having suffered those convictions, that evidence could be used against him in his own pending Three Strikes prosecution. He was further concerned that his testimony would indicate that he had violated his parole due…

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Name: In re De Leon
Case #: B167727
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/30/2004
Subsequent History: Modified 4/21/04 & 5/13/04

A defendant is entitled to a new trial where he was unable to cross-examine arresting officers on crucial factual issues. The defendant was convicted of assault on a peace officer and possession of a controlled substance. After testimony in the proceedings regarding the Rampart scandal indicated that the arresting officers might have used excessive force in arresting the defendant for drug possession, the trial court in a subsequent writ proceeding set aside the drug conviction. The court of appeal held that the defendant was entitled to a new trial on the assault on a peace officer charge,…

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