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Name: Tarango v. McDaniel
Case #: 13-17071
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/03/2016

State court decision was contrary to clearly established federal law because the court did not investigate the prejudicial effect of a police tail on a known holdout juror. Defendant was convicted in Nevada of robbery, attempted murder, gun use, and other offenses based upon his participation with others in a robbery and shoot-out in a bar. There were a number of off duty police officers in the bar at the time of the robbery who became victims and witnesses. While the jury was deliberating in defendant's case, the foreperson sent a note to the court complaining that a lone holdout…

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Name: People v. Diaz
Case #: B256050
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/14/2015

Petition to release personal juror identifying information is untimely if made after conviction, sentence, and affirmance on appeal. After his 2007 conviction for a gang-related murder, Diaz made a new trial motion raising three separate instances of juror misconduct. The trial court denied the motion and Diaz appealed. The Court of Appeal rejected the juror misconduct claims in Diaz's direct appeal and affirmed. Diaz's federal habeas petition was denied. In 2014, Diaz returned to the state trial court and filed a petition to access confidential juror identifying information (Code Civ. Proc., § 237, subd. (b)) so he could contact the…

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Name: People v. Cook
Case #: E054307
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/12/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 3/12/2014: S215927

A Penal Code section 12022.7, subdivision (a) (great bodily injury) enhancement may not be imposed with respect to a victim who was the subject of defendant’s manslaughter conviction. Appellant was convicted of three counts of vehicular manslaughter (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (c)(1)) as to victims Williams (count 1), Giambra, and Page. The jury found true three allegations attached to count 1 that appellant had personally inflicted great bodily injury upon Giambra, Page, and Valentine (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd. (a)). The court struck punishment for the enhancements as to Giambra and Page, but imposed a three-year consecutive term for…

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: E056878
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/19/2013

Trial court abused its discretion in denying defendant's posttrial motion for disclosure of jurors' identifying information. At the scene of an accident, defendant was "blatantly drunk" and admitted rear-ending an SUV that was stopped at a red light, injuring its occupants. A jury convicted defendant of DUI offenses and found numerous enhancements true. Before sentencing, which was over a year after trial, defendant sought release of jurors' identifying information. Included in his motion were declarations signed by his mother and stepfather about a conversation with three jurors regarding defendant's failure to testify. Defendant appealed the denial of this motion.…

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Name: People v. Calles
Case #: B225763
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/05/2012

Where jury's "timing experiment" did not stray beyond admitted evidence and was not of a character that was likely to improperly influence the verdict, trial court correctly denied new trial motion. Appellant was convicted of two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, three counts of hit and run, and one count of second degree murder based on his act of driving onto a sidewalk at 40 miles per hour, hitting pedestrians, then backing over a woman who was stuck under his car, and leaving the scene. One factor regarding implied malice was the length of time that passed between initial impact…

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Name: People v. Engstrom
Case #: C065982
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/28/2011

Jury conduct that amounts to critical examination of the evidence admitted, as opposed to conduct resulting in the acquisition of new evidence, is not misconduct that supports a motion for new trial. Appellant was convicted of possession of marijuana for sale and cultivation of marijuana, and being armed in the commission of each offense. At trial, appellant testified that he used medical marijuana. A defense expert witness testified as to the formula he used to calculate the yield of the marijuana plants found in appellant's residence, with a factor in the calculation being the light to the plants.…

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Name: People v. Vigil
Case #: C061065
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/24/2011

A motion for new trial based on juror misconduct requires a three-part inquiry: is the evidence of misconduct admissible; if so, do the facts establish misconduct; and if they do, is the misconduct prejudicial. Appellant was convicted of shooting at an occupied dwelling, based on accomplice liability. Following the trial, defense counsel asked juror #2, a college professor, how the jury was able to convict on this count when they had acquitted defendant of a first shooting. The juror responded that he had conducted an experiment outside the jury room which convinced him of defendant's guilt. Two other jurors then…

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Name: People v. Collins
Case #: S058537
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/27/2010

During deliberations, the jury may use an exhibit according to its nature and carry out experiments within the lines of offered evidence that do not invade new fields. In this death penalty case, the prosecutor introduced evidence suggesting that appellant executed the victim by shooting him in the back of the head as he knelt. In closing argument, the prosecutor emphasized her belief that the victim was pleading for his life. Relying on trial testimony of the defendant’s height, one of the jurors, a veteran of the Viet Nam war, utilized his home computer to work out height patterns and…

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Name: People v. Tuggles et al.
Case #: C054250
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/29/2009

Impeachment testimony by the prosecution to counter permissible character evidence introduced by the defense is not hearsay that would be subject to exclusion. Tuggles and Mollett were convicted of first degree murder involving a firearm. The shooting resulted from an altercation between two groups. In cross-examination of a prosecution witness, the defense elicited testimony to show that Tuggles had a reputation for nonaggression and was not prone to violence. The prosecution then questioned the witness as to whether he had heard in the neighborhood that Tuggles wanted to shoot up the block where the victim resided. This statement was admissible…

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Name: People v. Callahan
Case #: B167543
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 11/18/2004
Subsequent History: 12/16/04: rhg den.

The principle of deference (that where a trial court grants a new trial based on prejudicial misconduct, the determination may be affirmed unless it constituted an abuse of discretion) applies with equal force to the granting of a new trial on the ground of ineffective assistance of counsel. Not only is the trial court's determination of prejudice subject to an abuse of discretion standard of review, but also the trial court's determination of whether counsel's representation was deficient is subject to the same standard of review, and not to independent review. Therefore, where the trial court found that…

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