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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: B220528
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/16/2011
Subsequent History: 6/22/11 rev. granted (S192558)

The Eighth Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment does not apply to a person who is not sentenced to "life-without-parole" even if the sentence, in effect, cannot be completed within the person's lifetime. Appellant was convicted of three counts of attempted premeditated murder, each with a firearm-discharge enhancement. He was sentenced to three consecutive life terms for the attempted murders, for which he would be required to serve a minimum term of 15 years for each offense. Additionally, for the enhancements, he received three consecutive 25-year-to-life terms. Relying on Graham v. Florida (2010) 560 U.S. __, appellant argued that his…

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Name: People v. Hollinquest
Case #: A124613
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/20/2010

Since appellant had an opportunity to cross-examine the witness-turned-codefendant at the preliminary hearing, the court properly admitted the preliminary hearing testimony under Evidence Code section 1291 when the witness became "unavailable" at trial. A prosecution witness who testified under use immunity at the preliminary hearing became unavailable for trial based upon invocation of the Fifth Amendment when he was charged as a codefendant in the victim's murder and robbery. Appellant argued that since it was the prosecution who made the witness unavailable by revoking immunity, his preliminary hearing testimony should not have been admitted at trial. The court…

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Name: People v. Sandoval
Case #: C030917
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/28/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 7/11/01

Reversal of a murder conviction was required where no showing was made of a reasonable, good-faith effort to obtain the attendance of a crucial witness at trial prior to the admission of the witness's testimony from the preliminary hearing. Upon proof that the witness in question was a Mexican citizen residing in Mexico at the time of the trial, the trial court allowed the prosecution to present the transcript of his preliminary hearing to the jury. The appellate court here held that any exception to the confrontation requirement would arise of necessity, not because of convenience to the prosecution.…

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