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Name: United States v. Booker
Case #: 04-104
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 01/12/2005
Subsequent History: Cross cites: 160 L.Ed.2d 621; 125 S.Ct. 738

Under Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the sentence authorized for Booker's drug conviction was 210 to 262 months in prison. At sentencing, the court found additional facts by a preponderance of the evidence, and imposed a 360 month sentence. The appellate court held that this application of the Guidelines conflicted with the Apprendi holding, and that under Blakely, the sentence violated the Sixth Amendment. In Fanfan, a companion case decided here, the maximum sentence authorized by the jury verdict was 78 months in prison. The court found additional facts by a preponderance of the evidence which could have…

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Name: People v. Navarro
Case #: F043826
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/13/2004
Subsequent History: 3/2/05: rev. den.

The imposition of consecutive sentences does not violate the right to a jury trial when the facts in support of the consecutive terms were found by a jury. The factors cited by the court in support of consecutive terms included the fact that the acts involved separate victims, and separate acts occurring on different occasions over a long period of time. The Court of Appeal rejected the defendant’s argument that a jury was required to make the decision about whether consecutive terms should be imposed, noting that Blakely only requires that factors used to enhance a sentence be…

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Name: People v. Harless
Case #: H026885
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/20/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 3/23/05: S131011

Admission of a crime victim’s prior testimonial statements did not violate the defendant’s confrontation rights where the witness was available and testified at trial, even though by the time of trial she did not remember the events that were the subject of the out-of-court statements. Memory loss does not necessarily render a witness unavailable. Further, the court did not err in including "hardship" in the instructions under Penal Code section 288, subdivision (b), and the evidence of duress was sufficient to support defendant’s convictions under that section where the evidence showed that he had told the victim she…

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Name: People v. Murphy
Case #: C045738
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/07/2004
Subsequent History: 3/2/05: rev den

Appellant argued that under Apprendi and Blakely, the jury, rather than the trial court should have decided his Romero motion, because the trial court, by choosing a "strike" sentence over a "nonstrike" sentence "engaged in factfinding." The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Appellant admitted the fact of the prior strike conviction, which means that under Apprendi and Blakely, the trial court was entitled to impose a sentence which took the prior into account. Whatever facts the trial court may have found when it refused to strike the prior did not increase appellant's sentence within the…

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Name: People v. Prieto
Case #: B172963
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/07/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 2/23/05: S130611

Appellant was convicted of foreign object rape and attempted forcible rape, and sentenced to six years in state prison, consisting for three years for the penetration count and three years for the attempted rape. His case was remanded for resentencing because the trial court did not state reasons for imposing a full consecutive sentences under Penal Code section 667.6, subdivision (c). On remand, the court imposed the same sentence, stating that the reason was that the crime involved great violence and callousness and the victim was particularly vulnerable, and because the crimes were separate acts of violence. …

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Name: People v. Vu
Case #: G033583
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/09/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 2/16/05: S130656

Resentencing is required where three out of six aggravating factors should have been presented to a jury. The Court of Appeal rejected the Attorney General’s argument that error under Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531 was waived by defendant’s failure to object, since the record would not support a finding that any implied waiver was knowing and intelligent. The appellate court then found that under Blakely, a jury was required to return findings in support of three of the six aggravating factors: planning and sophistication, an attempted and actual taking of great monetary value, and defendant’s prior…

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Name: People v. Joy
Case #: E034071
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/10/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 3/16/05: S130795

The imposition of the upper term does not require a jury finding of factors in aggravation. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument that error under Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531 was waived by defendant’s failure to object, citing In re Tahl (1969) 1 Cal.3d 122 for the proposition that a reviewing court should not find an implicit waiver of constitutional rights from a silent record. However, based on a detailed comparison of California’s sentencing law with the state law at issue in Blakely, the court concluded that Blakely did not apply to California’s determinate sentencing…

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Name: People v. Emerson
Case #: C045613
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/18/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 2/23/05: S130065

The court properly sentenced appellant to the upper term where he had nine prior convictions for driving while intoxicated. The court rejected a Blakely v. Washington (2004) 159 L.Ed.2d 403 challenge to the upper term sentence, finding that the Supreme Court has preserved the exception for prior convictions under Almendarez-Torres v. United States (1998) 523 U.S. 224. Thus, the court properly relied on defendant’s prior convictions in imposing sentence. To the extent that the court might have erred in considering defendant’s prior prison term and performance on parole, the Court of Appeal found the error harmless beyond…

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Name: People v. Toscano
Case #: B172387
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/22/2004

Appellant entered into a written plea agreement in which he admitted a prior "strike" with the understanding that he had a right to move to strike the prior. On the day the agreement was executed, appellant asked for date for "sentencing and a Romero motion." As contemplated by the plea agreement, appellant filed a motion to strike the prior conviction based on an inadequate waiver of rights before the guilty plea in the prior case. At sentencing, the court advised appellant that if he wished to withdraw his plea (and face the additional original five felony counts), he…

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Name: People v. Calhoun
Case #: D042645
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/02/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 2/16/05: S129896

A street racer whose opponent's crash killed two people is not subject to an enhancement for fleeing the scene under Vehicle Code section 20001, subdivision (c). Calhoun and his codefendant Waller were drag racing on a public street when Waller's car collided with a third vehicle, killing two people. Calhoun left the scene of the accident. He was convicted of two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence on an accomplice liability theory, and the court imposed two enhancements for leaving the scene of a crime after committing a gross vehicular homicide, under section 20001, subdivision (c). The Court of…

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