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Name: Smith v. U.S. (2023) __ U.S. __ [143 S.Ct. 1594]
Case #: 21-1576
Court: US Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 06/15/2023

The U.S. Constitution permits retrial when a conviction is reversed because the prosecution occurred in the wrong venue and before a jury drawn from the wrong location. Smith was indicted in the Northern District of Florida for theft of trade secrets, among other charges. After the jury returned a guilty verdict, Smith moved for a judgment of acquittal based on improper venue. The district court denied the motion. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit held that venue was improper on the trade secrets charge but that the error did not bar reprosecution. Held: Affirmed. In almost all circumstances, the appropriate remedy…

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Name: People v. Beatty
Case #: C077542
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/06/2018

Territorial jurisdiction (venue) to prosecute a crime is appropriate in any county affected by the offense; it is immaterial where the acts constituting the elements of a crime were committed. As part of an undercover operation, Detective Bellamy initiated several drug transactions by placing calls from Yolo County to a drug dealer named Costa in Sacramento County. Costa in turn contacted Beatty, who was his drug supplier in Sacramento County, to acquire drugs. The drug sales occurred in Sacramento. There was no evidence that Beatty committed any acts relative to the drug sales in Yolo County. Beatty was prosecuted in…

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Name: People v. Thomas
Case #: S185305
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/03/2012

Venue is proper in the county where defendant lived and sold drugs even though his inventory of drugs and his gun were located in a neighboring county. Appellant was charged in Madera County with possession of cocaine for sale and possession of a gun by a felon. Appellant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint based on improper venue because the drugs and firearm were located in Fresno County. That motion, as well as a subsequent Penal Code section 995 motion, were denied. Appellant was convicted and sentenced to 33 years to life in prison. The Court of Appeal reversed,…

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Name: United States v. Casch
Case #: 05-30270
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/24/2006

While venue is not an element of a charged crime, it is part of the prosecution’s burden and a question of fact for the jury. Appellant argued the court committed instructional error when it failed to instruct on venue in a conspiracy, where the offenses took place in Washington and Idaho. The Ninth Circuit held "it is not for the court to determine whether venue exists, and it is error for the court to decline to give [an] instruction." However, the error is not a structural error, and its subject to harmless error analysis. In this…

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Name: In re Roberts
Case #: S112505
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/21/2005

The Supreme Court granted review in this case to decide whether a habeas corpus petition challenging a Board of Prison Term (BPT) finding of parole unsuitability or denial of a parole date should be filed in and adjudicated by a court within the county where the petitioner was convicted and sentenced or the county in which he is incarcerated. The court concluded that the petition should be filed in the county in which the petitioner was convicted and sentenced. This type of decision is more like a sentencing determination made by a court in the county where judgment…

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Name: People v. Rich
Case #: E031387
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/28/2003
Subsequent History: Rhg. den. 6/16/03

A criminal case was assigned by the Judicial Council to San Bernandino County after all the judges in Riverside County, where the case arose, recused themselves (the defendant was the son of a retired Riverside County judge). In this appeal, the court concluded that the court’s earlier appellate decision in a mandate proceeding permitting venue in San Bernandino was law of the case and precluded an appeal challenging the venue. Defendant had waived the issue by failing to object upon the filing of the first information. Moreover, San Bernandino County had jurisdiction in the fundamental sense;…

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