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Name: United States v. Martinez
Case #: 15-50205
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/10/2017

District court violated the Sixth Amendment by responding to a jury question without first consulting defense counsel. Martinez was tried for illegal reentry into the United States. There was an allegation that he had been removed subsequent to December 3, 2010, which increased the statutory maximum sentence from 2 years to 20. During deliberations, the jury sent a question concerning the significance of the December 3, 2010 date. Without consulting counsel, the judge responded that it was a matter for the court to consider, not the jury. The jury convicted Martinez and he appealed, challenging the court's decision to answer…

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Name: People v. Brown
Case #: G049867
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/04/2016

Reversal was required for error under People v. Chiu (2014) 59 Cal.4th 155 because Court of Appeal could not conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that jury rejected natural and probable consequences doctrine as basis for first degree murder conviction. Brown was charged with first degree murder in connection with a gang fight that turned into a fatal shooting. The jury was instructed on three first degree murder theories: (1) Brown was the actual killer, (2) he aided and abetted the actual killer with the intent to kill, and (3) he aided and abetted fighting and a first degree murder was…

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