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Name: People v. Sanchez
Case #: E057059
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/19/2014

By clearly referring to defendant's failure to testify and cautioning jurors not to be so "gullible" as to believe his defense, the prosecutor committed Griffin error and misconduct, but it was harmless. Sanchez was found in the wheel well of a truck in a Southern California Edison (SCE) service yard at 3:00 a.m. Video surveillance showed two people moving about the yard around that time, taking items from trucks and gathering copper wire. A jury convicted Sanchez of grand theft (Pen. Code, § 487, subd. (a)). On appeal Sanchez claimed the prosecutor committed prejudicial misconduct in his argument to the…

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Name: Harris v. Superior Court
Case #: B251071
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/25/2014

Where trial counsel's representation at preliminary hearing was compromised due to conflict of interest, the information must be set aside because defendant was denied a substantial right to the effective assistance of counsel. Harris was arrested for drug crimes. Unknown to Harris and the trial court, his retained attorney, Diaz, had been arrested for felonies by the same officer who arrested Harris and was facing charges to be prosecuted by the same entity (Los Angeles District Attorney) who was prosecuting Harris. Diaz represented Harris at his preliminary hearing, after which Harris was bound over. Represented by new counsel, Harris sought…

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Name: People v. Tran
Case #: H036977
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/07/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 8/14/2013: S211329

In an NGI extension proceeding, Penal Code section 1026.5 requires that the court advise the NGI of the right to a jury trial but does not require an NGI's personal jury trial waiver. These three cases all address the same issue. Defendants Tran, Fuquay, and Mortimer were committed to state hospitals after being found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI). The district attorney filed separate petitions to extend the defendants' commitments. The same judge presided over all three cases. Counsel in each case waived a jury and the defendants' commitments were extending following a bench trial. In…

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Name: People v. Mortimer
Case #: H037530
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/25/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 8/14/2013: S211072

In an NGI extension proceeding, Penal Code section 1026.5 requires that the court advise the NGI of the right to a jury trial but does not require an NGI's personal jury trial waiver. These three cases all address the same issue. Defendants Tran, Fuquay, and Mortimer were committed to state hospitals after being found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI). The district attorney filed separate petitions to extend the defendants' commitments. The same judge presided over all three cases. Counsel in each case waived a jury and the defendants' commitments were extending following a bench trial. In…

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Name: People v. Fuquay
Case #: H037195
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/25/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 8/14/2013: S211076

In an NGI extension proceeding, Penal Code section 1026.5 requires that the court advise the NGI of the right to a jury trial but does not require an NGI's personal jury trial waiver. These three cases all address the same issue. Defendants Tran, Fuquay, and Mortimer were committed to state hospitals after being found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI). The district attorney filed separate petitions to extend the defendants' commitments. The same judge presided over all three cases. Counsel in each case waived a jury and the defendants' commitments were extending following a bench trial. In…

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Name: Breceda et al. v. Superior Court
Case #: B244574
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/25/2013

Exculpatory documents that are available in the district attorney's office must be provided to a grand jury under Penal Code section 939.71 even if the district attorney handling the case has no personal knowledge of the documents. The prosecution obtained a grand jury indictment of petitioners, officials of Irwindale, for embezzlement of city funds. Petitioners had participated in lavish junkets to New York City, which were ultimately paid for by the city. In argument to the grand jury, the prosecution focused on evidence that the petitioners claimed and received a $75 daily allotment for travel expenses they did…

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Name: Ford v. Gonzalez
Case #: 11-15430
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/02/2012

The delayed commencement of a state prisoner action in federal court beyond the AEDPA deadline was untimely because the factual predicate for the claims could have been discovered at the time of trial and the prisoner did not diligently pursue his rights. A federal district court dismissed Ford's habeas petition as untimely because the factual basis for the claim could have been discovered had he exercised diligence at trial and there was no extraordinary circumstance that prevented the timely filing of the claims. Affirmed. One of the events that triggers the running of the one-year AEDPA statute of limitations is…

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Name: Maples v. Thomas
Case #: Oct-63
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 01/18/2012
Subsequent History: 132 S.Ct.912; 181 L.Ed.2d 807

Lawyers who abandoned their capital habeas client without notice to the court or to the client provided extraordinary cause to grant relief from default. Maples was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1997 in Alabama. Maples' postconviction petition filed in the trial court raised ineffective assistance of trial counsel. He was represented by two pro bono counsel who were associated with a large New York-based law firm. A local Alabama lawyer served only to move for their admission pro hac vice and it was understood that he would only facilitate their appearance with no substantive involvement in…

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Name: United States v. Jenkins
Case #: 06-50049
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/17/2007
Subsequent History: amended 9/25/07, 504 F.3d 694

Punishment for exercise of constitutional or statutory rights can result in a violation of due process. Jenkins was stopped at the border on two occasions in October 2004, and found to be smuggling aliens. When questioned, she stated that Pablo paid her to bring them in. Despite the strong evidence against her, the government elected to file no charges. Then in January 2005, she was again stopped but this time was found to be transporting marijuana. At her trial she testified that she did not know there was marijuana in her car as she believed…

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Name: In re Prescott
Case #: D047936
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/03/2007

Reversal was required where counsel revealed confidential communications and failed to advocate for appellant by telling the court that there was no reason for withdrawal of the guilty plea. Following his conviction for corporal injury to a spouse, appellant petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus challenging his conviction on the ground that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to assistance of counsel during a critical stage of his criminal proceedings. He contended that his right to assistance of counsel was violated when he indicated a desire to withdraw his guilty plea and his court-appointed counsel provided…

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