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Name: People v. McMahon
Case #: G032347
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/30/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 10/12/05: S136165

A defendant’s statement during a custodial interrogation that he was going to call a lawyer, along with his query as to whether he could call a lawyer if he signed an advisement form, was not an unequivocal invocation of his Miranda rights, and thus the court did not err in admitting the interrogation at trial. Moreover, the evidence was sufficient to sustain six counts of attempted murder where defendant fired a total of five shots into a van at close range, killing one person with one shot and firing an additional four shots at the six remaining passengers. …

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Name: Juan H. v. Allen
Case #: 04-15562
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/02/2005

A minor committed to the California Youth Authority for first degree murder and attempted first degree murder was entitled to federal habeas relief where the record contained insufficient evidence to show that he harbored the intent necessary for conviction under a theory of aiding and abetting. The Ninth Circuit held that the California Court of Appeal's affirmance constituted an unreasonable application of the Fourteenth Amendment requirement that the prosecution present evidence sufficient to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Here, the record contained insufficient evidence to show that the minor knew his brother intended…

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Name: People v. Noel
Case #: A099366
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/05/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 7/27/05: S134543

In this consolidated appeal from the San Francisco dog mauling trial, the court considered together defendant Knoller’s appeal from her conviction and the People’s appeal from the order granting her a new trial. The court rejected Knoller’s argument that the trial court lost jurisdiction to sentence her after the People appealed the order granting her a new trial, noting that Penal Code section 1242 expressly reserves such jurisdiction to the trial court. The court further agreed with the People that the trial court had erred in granting Knoller a new trial on the second degree murder charge. …

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Name: United States v. Martinez
Case #: 04-30098
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/16/2005

Officers responded to a 911 call concerning domestic violence at a residence known for prior incidences of domestic violence. On arrival, police observed a woman crying in the front yard and heard angry yelling in the house. Officers believed there was an emergency and an immediate need for assistance, entered the house, and proceeded to the bedroom where appellant was located. Officers seized firearms, motivated by concern for safety, not by an intent to arrest or seize evidence. The appellate court affirmed the denial of appellant's suppression motion. The requirements of the emergency doctrine were satisfied, which…

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Name: People v. Thoma
Case #: B170355
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/19/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 7/27/05: S134243

Appellant pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, and was sentenced as a "two-striker" because of a 1995 prior conviction for driving under the influence causing bodily injury. On appeal, he argued that the prior conviction was not a "strike" because the record of the prior conviction does not show that appellant inflicted great bodily injury on the victim. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. At appellant's sentencing hearing on the prior conviction, he remained silent as the court described the victim's massive injuries, including numerous broken bones. A reasonable person in that situation would have disputed…

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Name: United States v. Younger
Case #: 04-10206
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/01/2005

A defendant’s spontaneous statements and responses to questions may be interpreted as an implied waiver of Miranda rights. During a valid search of his home, the defendant was arrested and advised of his right to remain silent and his right to an attorney, and acknowledged both rights. He did not expressly waive his right to an attorney but spontaneously admitted that drugs seized in the house belonged to him and not to another occupant, and later continued to respond to questions at the police station. The appellate court found that the circumstances were sufficient to overcome the…

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Name: In re Sakarias
Case #: S102401
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/03/2005

Sakarias and Waidla were each convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances and sentenced to death for the same murder. The Supreme Court issued orders to show cause in response to their petitions for writs of habeas corpus, on claims that the prosecutor, in each trial had presented factual theories inconsistent with those presented in the codefendant's trial. Both petitioners participated in the attack on the victim, but the prosecutor inconsistently portrayed their respective roles in the attack, attributing to each the same three blows to the victim's head. Petitioners claim the inconsistency deprived them of…

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Name: United States v. Rodriguez-Preciado
Case #: 03-30285
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/04/2005

Appellant was given Miranda warnings prior to an interrogation, and waived those rights. He made several statements to police officers regarding his involvement in narcotics activity. The following day, the same officers continued the interrogation without giving repeated Miranda warnings. On appeal, appellant contended that the officers were required to readvise him of Miranda warnings before beginning the second day of questioning. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that failure to readminister warnings on the second day did not automatically render any of the statements made that day inadmissable. The Supreme Court has rejected…

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Name: Anderson v. Alameida
Case #: 04-15751
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 02/02/2005

No right to counsel attaches where a defendant who has waived extradition proceedings is questioned by officers during a transfer between jurisdictions. The petitioner argued that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to move to exclude a confession on the grounds that it had been made outside the presence of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment. The Ninth Circuit found no error or ineffective assistance, because the confession had occurred en route from New Hampshire to California, and despite the fact that he had been appointed a public defender in New Hampshire, defendant had ultimately waived…

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Name: United States v. Charley
Case #: 03-10579
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/07/2004

Appellant shot three of her six children. She then called police, and told them they needed to check on her children. Police met her at a relative's home, and brought appellant to her own home to check on the children. Appellant told officers that she had done something very bad, and that they were going to have to put her away for a long time. She told an EMT that she had killed the children. Appellant was told she was not under arrest at the time she was taken to her home. After the…

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