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Name: United States v. Littlesun
Case #: 04-30300
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/21/2006

Crawford v. Washington does not preclude the use of hearsay testimony at sentencing. Williams v. New York (1949) 337 U.S. 241, which held that the admission of hearsay evidence at sentencing does not violate due process so long as the testimony is accompanied by some minimal indicia of reliability, was not overruled by Crawford, and the federal appellate courts are bound by that…

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Name: People v. Evans
Case #: A107822
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/24/2006
Subsequent History: Review granted 4/26/06: S141357

Evans was convicted of receiving stolen property and the court found allegations of prior convictions and prison terms true. At sentencing, his counsel stated that there was no legal cause that judgment should not be pronounced, but made arguments for probation, and concerning a restitution issue. After resolving the restitution issue, the court asked if the matter was submitted, and counsel agreed. Evans then requested to speak, and the court refused to allow him to do so. He was sentenced to five years in state prison. On appeal, Evans argued that he was denied his…

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Name: People v. Hernandez
Case #: B185049
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 11/28/2005

Appellant contended that the Penal Code section 12022.53 denies equal protection and due process of law to those who aid and abet a gang related murder in which the perpetrator uses a gun because it treats aiders and abettors in killings for the benefit of a street gang more severely than aiders and abettors in killings for the benefit of other groups such as hate groups or terrorist groups. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Where, as here, the question is not whether to deprive appellant of his liberty, but for how long, a rational basis…

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Name: People v. Davey
Case #: A102885
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/12/2005

Appellant pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent exposure, resulting from two incidents in each of which he exposed himself to two children simultaneously. On appeal, he contended that the sentences on two of the counts should have been stayed, because each incident involved only one criminal act. The appellate court agreed and remanded for resentencing. Under Penal Code section 654, a single act of indecent exposure constitutes only one crime for the purpose of sentencing, regardless of the number of people who witness it. Further, the imposition of the upper term did not implicate appellant's…

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Name: People v. Buser
Case #: C048260
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/23/2005
Subsequent History: Revw. denied 11/30/05

Imposition of an upper-term sentence did not violate the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. The court rejected defendant's argument that the concurring opinion of Justice Thomas in Shepard v. United States (2005) 161 L.Ed. 205, suggesting that the holding in Almendarez-Torres v. United States (1998) 523 U.S. 224 ought to be reconsidered, compelled the Third District to find that the imposition of the upper term in this case violated the holding in Blakely v. Washington (2004) 542 U.S. 296, in spite of the recent decision to the contrary in People v. Black (2005) 35 Cal.4th 1238. …

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Name: People v. Hill
Case #: B176701
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 08/09/2005

Appellant was charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter of two police officers, after firing a gun in the direction of the officers' vehicle. Prior to trial, appellant filed a Pitchess motion seeking discovery of police records of the officers. The motion was supported by a declaration by defense counsel describing the shootings and characterizing the police report as false, and denying appellant's involvement in the shootings. Appellant contended on appeal that the trial court erred in denying his Pitchess motion without conducting an in-camera review of the officers' personnel files. The appellate court held that the trial…

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Name: People v. Medina
Case #: B169140
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/26/2005
Subsequent History: Rehg den. 8/25/05; Rev. GRANTED 10/26/05: S137055

Appellant was convicted of five counts of attempted kidnaping during the commission of a carjacking and one count of attempted carjacking. On appeal, he argued that the attempted kidnaping during commission of a carjacking convictions were not supported by substantial evidence because the evidence established that the carjackings were not complete. The appellate court rejected the argument. Although kidnap during the commission of a carjacking requires a completed carjacking, an attempted commission of the offense does not. There was sufficient evidence that appellant had the specific intent to kidnap the victims and carjack their vehicle, and…

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Name: People v. Watts
Case #: F045778
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/27/2005

Appellant entered into a plea bargain under the terms of which he admitted a prior conviction for a violation of Penal Code section 12031(a)(2)(C), but reserved the right to argue at sentencing that the prior conviction did not qualify as a strike. The trial court rejected his argument and sentenced him in accordance with the plea bargain. On appeal, he argued that the court erred in denying his motion to strike the strike because his plea to the prior conviction did not constitute an admission of all the elements of section 186.22(a). [Section 12031 (a)(2)(C) is not…

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Name: Schardt v. Payne
Case #: 02-36164
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/08/2005

The rule of Blakely v. Washington does not apply retroactively to convictions which became final prior to its publication. Blakely announced a new rule, it did not merely apply a preexisting rule. Because it defined the authority for sentencing matters, it created a procedural rule. Further, it did not affect the determination of guilt, but merely referred to the proof necessary for sentencing, and therefore did not implicate the fundamental fairness of the proceedings. It did not announce a watershed rule of criminal procedure subject to retroactive…

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Name: People v. Ferris
Case #: F045368
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/27/2005

Appellant was convicted of multiple felonies, and was found sane at the time he committed the crimes. On appeal, he claimed that Apprendi impliedly altered the burden of proof on the question of insanity, now requiring the prosecution to prove sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. The appellate court rejected the argument. Sanity is not an element of the offense charged; the question is one of insanity as a defense. A finding of sanity does not increase the maximum penalty one can receive. Neither Apprendi nor Ring in any way impliedly overrules decisions holding that insanity…

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