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Name: People v. Palacios (2024) 101 Cal.App.5th 942
Case #: B324572
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/03/2024

At defendant’s PC 1172.6(d)(3) hearing, the trial court did not err by declining to consider whether defendant’s confession was voluntary before admitting it into evidence, where the voluntariness issue was not raised in the underlying trial. Section 1172.6(d)(3) provides a general rule that admissibility of evidence at a resentencing hearing is “governed by the Evidence Code,” but it exempts evidence previously admitted at any prior hearing or trial that is “admissible under current law.” The court agreed with People v. Davenport (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 1150 that the most natural reading of the phrase “admissible under current law” is that the basis…

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Name: People v. McClelland (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 1109
Case #: D081369
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/27/2024

Defendant’s due process rights were not violated where he was present at a “status hearing” that functioned as an evidentiary hearing under Penal Code section 1172.6(d)(3). Defendant pled guilty to second degree murder in 1994. In 2019, he filed a (now former) section 1170.95 petition and the trial court issued an order to show cause and scheduled an evidentiary hearing. After the submission of briefing, the parties appeared at a “status hearing” in September at which defendant was present. The prosecution submitted exhibits without objection from defendant or his counsel. Defendant’s counsel then consented to the court issuing a written order…

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Name: People v. Hill (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 1055
Case #: B322561
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/25/2024

The application of a kidnapping-felony-murder theory to defendants’ Penal Code section 1172.6 petitions did not violate ex post facto principles. In 1990, defendants Hill and Jenkins were involved in a kidnapping and robbery, in which Hill shot at one victim and another victim was killed. Hill and Jenkins were each convicted of first degree murder and attempted premediated murder. In 2019, defendants each filed a petition for resentencing pursuant to section 1172.6. After evidentiary hearings, the superior courts found each guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the convictions, and denied relief. Defendants appealed. Held: Affirmed. At the time of the kidnappings…

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Name: People v. Lopez (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1242
Case #: F086179
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/27/2024

Senate Bill No. 1437 did not abrogate the doctrine of transferred intent and it may still be used to establish an accomplice’s liability for murder. In 1995, Lopez assisted his codefendant in ambushing and shooting at a rival who was in a van, and an unintended victim was killed. Lopez was convicted of first degree murder for the death of the unintended victim. In 2021, Lopez filed a petition for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1172.6. After a (d)(3) hearing, the trial court denied the petition, finding Lopez aided and abetted the shooting and impliedly finding an intent to…

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Name: People v. Underwood (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 303
Case #: A162356
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/30/2024

Substantial evidence did not support trial court’s finding that petitioner acted with intent to kill or reckless indifference to human life where petitioner was present at the scene of a mugging but there was no evidence he knew his co-participant was armed or would use deadly force. Underwood was convicted of felony murder based on his participation in a robbery. He later sought resentencing under Penal Code section 1172.6. The trial court denied the petition after a (d)(3) hearing, finding that Underwood both directly aided and abetted the murder and that he was a major participant in the robbery who…

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Name: People v. Quan (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 524
Case #: G061191
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/17/2023

Trial court prejudicially violated petitioner’s constitutional right to presence at a critical stage where it held a Penal Code section 1172.6(d)(3) hearing in petitioner’s absence and without a knowing and intelligent waiver of his right to be present. After issuing an order to show cause on Quan’s petition for relief under section 1170.95 (now 1172.6), the court held a (d)(3) hearing without ensuring either that Quan was present or that he had waived his right to be present. The court denied the petition and Quan appealed. Held: Reversed. A petitioner has a due process right to be personally present at…

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Name: People v. Pittman (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 400
Case #: A161815
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/13/2023

Appellant’s youth was relevant at his Penal Code section 1172.6(d)(3) hearing to determine whether he had the mental state required for aiding and abetting implied malice murder, and trial court could not be presumed to have considered his youth. Appellant was 21 years old when he participated in a spontaneous attack with two minors, one of whom stabbed the victim to death, and he was convicted of second degree murder. He later filed a section 1172.6 petition and his (d)(3) hearing was held before any case had described the significance of youth to felony murder and before any case had…

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Name: People v. Davenport (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 1150
Case #: A165093
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 09/27/2023

During petitioner’s Penal Code section 1172.6(d)(3) hearing, the trial court properly admitted the preliminary hearing testimony of a witness to the crime without requiring the prosecution to show the witness was unavailable. In 2007, Davenport pleaded no contest to second degree murder with a personal use firearm enhancement for a shooting death. Davenport petitioned for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95 (now section 1172.6). At the (d)(3) hearing, the trial court found that Davenport was the actual killer and was ineligible for resentencing. On appeal, Davenport argued the trial court erroneously admitted the preliminary hearing testimony of a witness to…

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Name: People v. Njoku (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 27
Case #: C093672
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/31/2023

After an evidentiary hearing under Penal Code section 1172.6(d)(3), the substantial evidence standard of review applies on appeal, even with a “cold record.” Njoku was convicted of second degree murder after her brother stabbed the victim. A witness said that Njoku egged on the fight and stomped on the victim after he had been stabbed. At Njoku’s section 1172.6(d)(3) hearing, the parties relied on only the trial transcript and did not introduce any additional evidence. The trial court denied the 1172.6 petition, finding Njoku acted with implied malice. She appealed. Held: Affirmed. The Court of Appeal disagreed with Njoku’s argument…

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Name: People v. Del Rio (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 47
Case #: D080369
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/02/2023

In petitioner’s Penal Code section 1172.6 proceedings, trial court violated his due process rights by redesignating murder convictions as a robbery without notice and opportunity to be heard. Del Rio, convicted of two first degree murders in 1978, filed a petition for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95 (now 1172.6). The record in his case was no longer available so, at the (d)(3) hearing, the prosecution was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Del Rio was ineligible for resentencing. The trial court vacated the conviction, redesignated robbery as the basis for conviction, and resentenced Del Rio on the…

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