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Name: In re Robinson
Case #: B293216
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/16/2019

Proposition 66 applies to habeas petitions filed before Proposition 66's enactment and pending on Proposition 66's effective date (October 25, 2017). In 1999, defendant was sentenced to death. In 2006, he filed a habeas petition in the California Supreme Court. In 2014, the Supreme Court issued an order to show cause why habeas relief should not be granted on three claims of juror misconduct. In 2015, the Court issued two orders referring the claims to the superior court for an evidentiary hearing and to issue a report and recommendation to the Supreme Court on how to resolve…

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Name: People v. Berg
Case #: D073749
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/29/2019

Once the reviewing court affirmed an order granting a habeas petition, trial court lacked jurisdiction to reconsider its decision based on a change in the law. In 1997, Berg pleaded guilty to murder committed during a robbery and was sentenced to LWOP. He was 17 years old when he committed the crime. In 2014, he filed a habeas petition arguing his LWOP sentence for a crime committed as a juvenile violated the Eighth Amendment. The trial court granted the petition and ordered a resentencing that comported with the requirements of Miller v. Alabama (2012) 567 U.S. 460. The prosecution appealed.…

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Name: In re White
Case #: E068801
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/30/2019

Habeas petitioner who was convicted of second degree felony murder based on the death of an accomplice arising out of the felonious manufacture of methamphetamine was not entitled to reversal of his conviction based on Johnson v. United States (2015) 576 U.S. ___ [135 S.Ct. 2551]. In 2000, White was convicted of second degree felony murder for the death of an accomplice arising out of the felonious manufacture of methamphetamine. After the Supreme Court decided Johnson, White filed a habeas petition challenging the constitutionality of California's second degree felony murder rule. Held: Petition denied. In Johnson, the Supreme Court evaluated…

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Name: In re Rogers
Case #: S084292
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/15/2019

Opinion by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye (unanimous).
Death sentence reversed because material false evidence was presented at the penalty phase of defendant's trial. Rogers, a Kern County sheriff's deputy was convicted of the murders of two female sex workers in Bakersfield. During the penalty phase, a woman, Butler, testified in detail that Rogers viciously attacked and raped her. The jury returned a death verdict. Rogers filed a habeas petition alleging Butler misidentified him as the man who assaulted her. Butler provided a declaration in which she expressed doubts about her identification of Rogers as her attacker. A referee concluded that…

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Name: In re Taylor
Case #: A155328
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/19/2019

Petitioner was entitled to habeas relief based on Banks and Clark because his actions after a murder betraying an indifference to the loss of life do not, standing alone, establish sufficient evidence that he acted with reckless indifference to human life during an attempted robbery. Taylor was the getaway driver in an attempted robbery of a liquor store during which a store employee was killed. After the killing, he expressed callous indifference to the employee's death. In 1994, he was convicted of first degree felony murder. The jury found true a special circumstance that the killing occurred in the commission…

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Name: Satele v. Superior Court (Los Angeles County)
Case #: S248492
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/18/2019

The good cause requirement for discovery in habeas corpus proceedings set forth in Penal Code section 1054.9 applies only to physical evidence in possession of the prosecution and law enforcement authorities, not to evidence held by the court. Satele was sentenced to death for two first degree murders. Following his direct appeal, he asked the trial court to release ballistics evidence for expert testing for use in preparing a habeas petition. The items were trial exhibits held by the court clerk. The court denied the request under section 1054.9, which governs discovery in habeas proceedings involving certain judgments, because Satele…

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Name: In re Hernandez
Case #: G054623
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/26/2019

Habeas petitioner established she was prejudiced by counsel's ineffective assistance where he failed to advise her that her guilty plea would result in mandatory deportation and there was evidence she would not have entered the plea if properly advised. On advice of her attorney, Hernandez pleaded guilty to possession of meth for sale based on evidence that meth was found in the car she was driving, which was owned by one of the passengers. After serving some jail time, Hernandez was taken into federal custody for deportation because her offense was an "aggravated felony" under federal law. In her petition…

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Name: In re Thomas
Case #: E069454
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/27/2018

In state habeas proceedings, the three-factor test in In re Johnson (1970) 3 Cal.3d 404 governs retroactivity rather than the standard set forth in Teague v. Lane (1989) 489 U.S. 288, which governs federal habeas proceedings. In 2003, Thomas was convicted of receiving a stolen vehicle and participation in a criminal street gang. A gang expert's testimony included testimonial, case-specific out-of-court statements. On appeal, Thomas argued the expert's testimony violated his confrontation rights under Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36. The Court of Appeal affirmed under People v. Gardeley (1996) 14 Cal.4th 605, which approved the use of such…

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Name: Maquiz MacDonald v. Hedgpeth
Case #: 16-55240
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/05/2018

Under AEDPA, there was no reasonable basis on which the California courts could have rejected petitioner's argument that the gang enhancement was unsupported by sufficient evidence. Maquiz was convicted of multiple counts of robbery with gang and gun use enhancements. He challenged the gang enhancement tied to one of the robberies in which he acted alone. After exhausting state remedies, Maquiz filed a federal habeas petition, which the district court denied. He appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. When a federal habeas petitioner challenges the sufficiency of the evidence used to obtain a state conviction on federal due process grounds, the…

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Name: Williams v. Filson
Case #: 13-99002
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/09/2018

Federal habeas petitioner was entitled to equitable tolling where he relied on the unsettled state of the law related to the relation-back standard in deciding when to file his amended petition. In 1983, Williams pleaded guilty to murder and a three-judge panel sentenced him to death. In January 1998, he filed a federal writ petition, which he amended in 1999 and again in May 2002. In 2003, the federal court stayed proceedings while Williams pursued additional state claims. In 2007, having exhausted his state claims, he reopened his federal proceeding, adding new issues. The district court held the new claims…

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