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Name: People v. Crowe
Case #: B137930
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 02/15/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 5/16/01

The then-standard jury instruction, CALJIC 8.40, stating that voluntary manslaughter requires proof of an intent to kill, was given in this first-degree murder trial which was concluded almost a year before the California Supreme Court decided People v. Lasko (2000) 23 Cal.4th 101. Without reaching the retroactivity issue, the Court of Appeal found Lasko should be applied to all cases not yet…

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Name: People v. Sanchez
Case #: C032228
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/31/2001
Subsequent History: None

Sanchez crashed his car while trying to elude police officers and one of his passengers was killed. Sanchez drove at speeds up to 100 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol level of .18 percent. He had a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. The trial court instructed the jury, pursuant to the felony-murder doctrine, that a person who kills a human being while violating Vehicle Code section 2800.3 is guilty of second degree murder. The appellate court here reversed Sanchez's second degree murder conviction. In determining whether a violation of…

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Name: People v. Briscoe
Case #: A086570
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 09/26/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 1/3/02.

Appellant and an accomplice committed a burglary and robbery, during which the accomplice was killed by the victim of the robbery. Appellant was convicted of first degree murder, as well as burglary and robbery, on a provocative act murder theory. Special circumstance and firearm use allegations were also found true. The appellate court here affirmed the first degree murder conviction. The provocative act murder doctrine requires that the perpetrator of a crime intentionally commit an act that is likely to result in death and which prompts the crime victim to kill in response to that conduct.…

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Name: In re Michele D.
Case #: B143803
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/26/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 12/12/01.

Abduction of a non-resisting infant or child without the knowledge or permission of the parent constitutes kidnapping. The fact that "force" was not utilized does not alter this conclusion. Therefore, where appellant took a friend’s baby, pushing him in a stroller out of a store when his mother’s back was turned, with the intent to raise him herself, a petition alleging kidnapping was properly found to be true. It is inconceivable that the Legislature intended that the taking of an infant or child not be included within the scope of the statute. Where the victim is…

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Name: People v. Hein
Case #: B106689
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 01/29/2001
Subsequent History: Review denied 4/25/01 and Reporter of Decisions directed not to publish this opinion in the Official Reports

The sentences imposed on the defendants did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the constitution and the basic test set forth in People v. Dillon (1983) 34 Cal.3d 441. However, the appellate court here urged the California Supreme Court to review the Dillon decision in the context of this case. The evidence was sufficient to sustain the underlying felony-murder convictions of all the appellants where, as a group, the appellants went to the victim's property to take property from him, and were engaged in an altercation which resulted in the stabbing of the victim. The issue…

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Name: U.S. v. Holloway
Case #: 99-10385
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/05/2001
Subsequent History: None

On review for plain error (because the issue was not raised by the parties below), the Court of Appeals determined that there was no proof that the credit union robbed was covered by federal insurance, currently in force, from the National Credit Union Administration Board. As this is an essential element of the bank robbery offense, the court reversed appellant's robbery conviction, as well as his second conviction for a crime of violence which could be prosecuted in a federal court. Because the federal jurisdictional element was not proved in either offense, both counts were…

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Name: People v. Williams
Case #: S076262
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/23/2001
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 9/26/01

The mental state for assault requires actual knowledge of the facts sufficient to establish that the defendant’s act by its nature will probably and directly result in injury to another. Assault remains a general intent crime. This case contains a good review of the Supreme Court’s 30-year effort to define the mental state necessary for…

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Name: People v. Sanchez
Case #: S088025
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/27/2001
Subsequent History: None

Defendant Sanchez and his codefendant, Gonzalez, were charged with first degree murder in connection with a shooting death. Defendant, a gang member, was a passenger in a car which engaged in a gun battle with a rival gang. In the exchange of bullets, an innocent bystander was killed. The evidence at trial did not establish whether appellant or Gonzalez fired the shot which killed the victim. The jury convicted of first degree murder. The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that there were no theories under which the jury could have found both appellant and Gonzalez…

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Name: People v. Elam
Case #: B141040
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/02/2001
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 8/22/01, as modified.

In a prosecution for a violation of Penal Code section 243.4, subdivision (a), sexual battery, requires the defendant to have touched the skin of various intimate body parts of the victim. It does not violate the statute if the victim is forced to touch the an intimate body part of the defendant with her…

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Name: People v. Trevino
Case #: S085410
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/26/2001
Subsequent History: None

In 1978, defendant committed a murder in Texas when he was 15. Under California law in 1978, one had to be at least 16 at the time of the offense to be tried as an adult for murder. Since January 1, 1995, a person as young as 14 may be tried as adult for murder. The court held that a prior-murder special circumstance finding may be based on an offense committed in another jurisdiction if, under the law as it then was, the defendant was too young to be tried as an adult in…

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