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Name: Betterman v. Montana
Case #: 14-1457
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 05/19/2016

Speedy trial right does not apply to postconviction, presentence delay. Betterman pleaded guilty to bail jumping. After his plea, he was jailed for over 14 months awaiting sentencing. Betterman appealed, arguing that the 14-month gap between conviction and sentencing violated his speedy trial right. The Montana Supreme Court affirmed, ruling that the Sixth Amendment's speedy trial clause did not apply to postconviction, presentence delay. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a split of authority on this issue. Held: Affirmed. The speedy trial guarantee flows from the presumption of innocence "prevent[ing] undue and oppressive incarceration prior to trial .…

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Name: People v. Deegan
Case #: A143344
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/17/2016

Trial court did not violate Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466, 490 by making factual determinations regarding the applicability of Penal Code section 654. When a park ranger and police officer told Deegan, a homeless man, that he could not sleep in Golden Gate Park, Deegan assaulted them with a log, fled, and then evaded and assaulted additional officers who arrived as backup. Deegan was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on the park ranger, assault on a peace officer (Carrasco), and resisting three police officers (including Carrasco). He was sentenced to consecutive terms. On appeal, Deegan…

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Name: Caetano v. Massachusetts
Case #: 14-10078
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 03/21/2016
Subsequent History: 136 S. Ct. 1027

Massachusetts law criminalizing possession of a stun gun violates the Second Amendment. When Caetano's abusive ex-boyfriend approached her as she left work and started yelling at her, she pulled out a stun gun and said "I'm not gunna take this anymore . . . . I don't wanna have to [use this on] you, but if you don't leave me alone, I'm gonna have to." The gambit worked and the ex-boyfriend left. However, after police discovered the stun gun during an unrelated investigation, Caetano was convicted under a Massachusetts law that prohibited possession of stun guns. The Massachusetts Supreme Court…

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Name: People v. Giron-Chamul
Case #: A140628
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/18/2016

Defendant was denied opportunity to effectively cross-examine child witness because the witness refused to answer hundreds of questions. After a jury convicted Giron-Chamul of committing sex offenses against his 4-year-old daughter, he appealed raising a number of contentions, including that he was denied his constitutional right to confrontation because he did not have an adequate opportunity to effectively cross-examine his daughter, who refused to answer questions on cross-examination. Held: Reversed. The Confrontation Clause gives the accused the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him. It guarantees an opportunity for effective cross-examination. Several decisions have held that the right…

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Name: People v. Gary H.
Case #: B264078
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/23/2016

Loitering statute (Pen. Code, § 653b) is not unconstitutionally vague when construed to include a scienter element. Gary, an expelled high school student, got into an angry verbal exchange with a student while standing on the sidewalk in front of the school. School administrators told Gary to leave, but he refused. The police were called. A Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition was filed alleging misdemeanor loitering. The juvenile court sustained the petition over Gary's objection that section 653b was unconstitutionally vague. Gary appealed. Held: Affirmed. Section 653b provides in relevant part that "every person who loiters about any…

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Name: People v. Navarro
Case #: G050974
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/18/2016

Parole condition prohibiting use of various Internet programs was void for vagueness. Navarro pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping. He was paroled with the special condition that he "shall not use an electronic bulletin board system, [I]nternet relay chat channel, instant messaging, newsgroup, usergroup, peer to peer; i.e, Napster, Gnutella, Freenet, etc. This would include any site-base; i.e., Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo e-mail, etc., which allows the user to have the ability to surf the Internet undetected." His parole was violated for using his cell phone to access various social media sites (Facebook and Instagram) and to connect with women on…

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Name: Crofoot v. Harris
Case #: B258365
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 08/26/2015

California was not required to give full faith and credit to Washington State order terminating the requirement that defendant register as a sex offender. In 2000, Crofoot pled guilty in Washington State to communicating with a minor for sexual purposes. He was placed on probation and required to register as a sex offender. In 2014 he obtained an order in Washington terminating the registration requirement (Rev. Code Wash., § 9A.44.140 [requiring registration for 10 years for Crofoot's offense]). He later moved to California, where he was required to register as a sex offender based on his Washington conviction for the…

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Name: In re Taylor
Case #: S206143
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/02/2015

As applied in San Diego County, portion of Jessica's Law (Prop. 83) that prohibits paroled registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks is unconstitutional. Jessica's Law enacted Penal Code section 3003.5, subdivision (b) which prohibits all registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks. CDCR began enforcing the residency restrictions as a mandatory parole condition for all registered sex offenders on parole in San Diego County. Paroled sex offenders in San Diego County sought habeas relief from Jessica's Law claiming that it was unconstitutional as applied to them. The superior court…

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Name: People v. Coleman
Case #: A134124
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/28/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 1/14/2015: S222929

Trial court properly denied defendant's discovery motion for an order requiring the prosecution to run police officer witness' rap sheet. Coleman was convicted of possession of cocaine base for sale. Prior to his trial, Coleman moved for an order pursuant to Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531, and Penal Code section 1054.1 requiring the prosecution to provide discovery, including running rap sheets for all testifying prosecution witnesses. The trial court granted the motion in part and denied it in part, stating that it would not order rap sheets to…

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Name: People v. Christensen
Case #: G048615
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/10/2014

Child molest victim diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome was unavailable to testify at defendant's second trial because the witness would suffer substantial trauma if he was required to testify again. Appellant was charged with multiple counts of lewd acts against two children, Spencer S. and Joshua K. (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)). At his first trial, the jury convicted appellant of the charges involving Spencer, but deadlocked with respect to the charges involving Joshua. At his second trial, appellant was convicted of the counts pertaining to Joshua, and a lewd act against a third child, Zachary. The jury…

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