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Name: Story v. Superior Court
Case #: H024993
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/12/2003
Subsequent History: None

Story sought extraordinary relief from an order denying his motion to quash the prosecutor’s subpoena and allowing release of his psychotherapy records. His petition raised an issue of first impression in the area of prosecutorial discovery: whether records of psychotherapy which was ordered as a condition of probation are protected from disclosure in a subsequent criminal proceeding where the prosecutor seeks their admission as evidence of a previous sex offense, under Evidence Code section 1108. Story argued that the records were subject to the psychotherapist-patient privilege, and the appellate court here agreed and issued a writ of mandate.…

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Name: People v. Ortiz
Case #: A095534
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 05/23/2003
Subsequent History: None

Defendant was charged with second degree "vehicular murder ," consisting of crossing a double yellow line at a high rate of speed, resulting in a head-on crash. There was a stipulation that there was no evidence defendant had consumed alcohol before the crash. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeal held that evidence of seven past incidents in which defendant had either been convicted of reckless driving, convicted of reckless drunk driving , or been seen driving recklessly, and his participation in a mandatory educational program on the dangers of drinking and driving were admissible. Because the People were…

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Name: People v. Pierce
Case #: B149009
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/23/2002
Subsequent History: 3/5/03 rev. den.

For purposes of admitting prior sexual offenses as propensity evidence in a charged sexual offense case under Evidence Code section 1108, assault with intent to commit rape (Pen. Code, sec. 220) is a sexual…

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Name: People v. Britt
Case #: C039621
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/17/2002
Subsequent History: 6/11/03 rev. granted

In appellant’s trial for burglary, indecent exposure, and annoying a child, the trial court properly admitted the testimony of two prior victims of indecent exposures by appellant. The testimony was properly admitted to prove identity, as appellant claimed that he was the victim of mistaken identity. Prosecution for burglary was not prohibited because of the more specific statute of felony indecent exposure inside an inhabited dwelling. An indispensable element of burglary is entry with a specific intent, and residential indecent exposure only requires a previous unauthorized entry, not entry with an intent to commit a felony. …

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Name: People v. Robinson
Case #: B130050
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 12/11/2000
Subsequent History: Rehg. den. 1/2/01; rev. den. 3/21/01

An admission against penal interest under Evidence Code section 1220 does not have to be independently admissible as proof of identity under Evidence Code section 1101, subdivision (b), to qualify for use at…

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Name: People v. Younger
Case #: A083235
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/27/2000
Subsequent History: None

The victim in this case was found dead in her bathtub, strangled by a noose tied to the showerhead. Although her boyfriend, Younger, was charged with her murder, there was no evidence of a struggle, and there was a pathologist report which concluded that the evidence supported a finding of suicide. Evidence of prior domestic abuse inflicted by Younger was admitted, and the jury was instructed, over an objection by the defense, pursuant to CALJIC 2.50.02, that if it found Younger to have committed the prior domestic violence offenses, it could infer that he was disposed toward domestic…

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Name: Charles v. Hickman
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/03/2000
Subsequent History: None

In a prior trial, Charles had been charged and acquitted of stabbing Bonton, a witness who had testified against him about a 1980 robbery. However, admission of that evidence did not violate the Fifth Amendment prohibition against double jeopardy. Charles was convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances for shooting Darnell, also a witness against him in the earlier robbery trial. The prosecution introduced the evidence in question in order to prove Charles' retaliatory motive and that the killing was intentional and premeditated. Evidence of the stabbing of Bonton was relevant to show that Charles shot…

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Name: People v. Sizemore
Case #: B147365
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 06/20/2002
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 9/18/02. Depublished.

The court did not err in admitting evidence of prior acts of domestic violence and an uncharged solicitation of murder in this prosecution for a different solicitation of murder of defendant’s wife. Evidence that he choked his wife (and asked another to kill an unnamed person) was probative of his intent and motive and not more inflammatory than the charged act of asking another to kill…

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Name: People v. Hawkins
Case #: H021902
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/05/2002
Subsequent History: Order mod. opn, rehg. denied 7/2/02. Rev. denied 8/28/02.

Appellant was convicted of the felony of knowingly acessing and taking data from a computer system, a violation of Penal Code section 502, subdivision (c)(2), for taking the source code of his former employer. The jury found not true an allegation that the property taken was valued at more than $2.5 million, and the trial court denied appellant’s motion to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor. The appellate court affirmed the judgment, rejecting arguments that: the offense should not be a felony as the statute lacked a mens rea requirement; the statute is unconstitutionally vague; the trial…

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Name: People v. Steele
Case #: B134069
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/22/2000
Subsequent History: Review denied 12/13/00

The trial court erred when it refused to allow appellant to cross-examine victim-witness Williams on her prior misdemeanor conviction for providing false information to a police officer during an arrest for prostitution. While appellant's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation and cross-examination was violated, it was not prejudicial per Davis v. Alaska (1974) 415 U.S. 308. Here Williams was impeached with her prior conviction for voluntary manslaughter. Furthermore, she admitted a 20 year career as a prostitute. The fact that during that lengthy prostitution career Williams had provided false information to a police officer probably "surprised no…

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