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Name: People v. Tran
Case #: G053424
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/16/2018

Trial court did not prejudicially err by giving kill zone instruction that did not identify the murder victim as the primary target and instead named an attempted murder victim as both the primary target and a secondary victim of the gun fire. A jury convicted Tran of second degree murder, attempted murder, and other charges, and found true gang and firearm use enhancements, based on evidence Tran's passenger shot multiple times into a rival gang member's car, killing Bui and injuring James. On appeal, Tran challenged the attempted murder conviction based on the trial court's inartfully worded instruction on the…

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Name: People v. Perez
Case #: C078452
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/18/2017

Shooter's validated membership in a gang is insufficient to support enhancement allegation that he committed the offense for the benefit of the gang. Based on a shooting at a party, Perez was found guilty of four counts of attempted murder with premeditation and four counts of assault with a firearm. The jury found gun use (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subd. (d)), gang enhancement (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(1)) and great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd. (a)) allegations true. On appeal, Perez challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support the gang enhancement. Held: Gang enhancement reversed. There…

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Name: People v. Lozano
Case #: B278663
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 11/09/2017

Senate Bill No. 394, which amends Penal Code section 3051 to make juvenile offenders sentenced to LWOP eligible for a parole suitability hearing, renders juvenile offender's challenge to LWOP sentence moot. Lozano was sentenced to LWOP in 1996 following her conviction of first degree murder with a robbery-murder special circumstance. She was 16 years old at the time she committed the offense. After the Supreme Court's decision in Miller v. Alabama (2012) 567 U.S. 460, she was afforded a new sentencing hearing, but was again sentenced to LWOP. Lozano appealed, arguing her LWOP sentence violates the Eighth Amendment. Held: Dismissed…

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Name: People v. Leon
Case #: F065532
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/13/2016

Defendant's un-Mirandized statement during jail classification interview that he was a gang member should have been suppressed under People v. Elizalde (2015) 61 Cal.4th 523. Leon, Centeno, Palofox, and Rivas, were charged with a number of offenses arising from a series of home invasion robberies that they allegedly committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang. Other alleged coconspirators were tried separately. To prove the gang allegations, the prosecution relied on statements that Centeno and his coconspirators gave during jail classification interviews admitting they were gang members. Centeno's counsel unsuccessfully objected to the admissibility of his jail classification interview…

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Name: People v. Andrade
Case #: A135438
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/24/2015

Trial court did not abuse its discretion by excluding proffered third-party culpability evidence that similar police poser rapes continued to occur after defendant's arrest. Five different women, including three who were working as prostitutes, identified Andrade as the man who lured or forced them into his car, pointed a gun at them, and raped them. He told most of the women that he was an undercover police officer, or a former police officer. DNA connected Andrade to two of the rapes. The jury convicted him of seven counts of forcible rape (Pen. Code, § 261, subd. (a)(2)) and…

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Name: People v. Vargas
Case #: S203744
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/10/2014

Two prior convictions arising out of a single act against a single victim cannot constitute two strikes under the Three Strikes law. Vargas was tried for first degree burglary and other crimes. Two strike priors were alleged, a robbery and a carjacking. These priors were tried in the same proceeding and arose out of the same facts. Vargas moved to dismiss the carjacking prior; the court granted the request as to several counts, but not as to the burglary. She appealed and sought writ relief. The Court of Appeal granted a writ of habeas corpus, finding Vargas' trial counsel had…

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Name: People v. Perez
Case #: G046032
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/04/2013

The One Strike Law, as applied to defendant, who committed the offenses when he was 16-years old, is not unconstitutional. Appellant was convicted as an adult of forcible sex offenses committed when he was 16-years old, and sentenced under the "One Strike" law to two consecutive terms of 15 years to life, for a total of 30 years to life. The appellate court rejected his argument that the One Strike law (Pen. Code, sec. 667.61, subd. (b)) was unconstitutional because it did not allow for consideration of appellant's diminished culpability as a result of his status as a minor.…

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Name: People v. Brewer
Case #: A127746
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 02/01/2011

Defendants who receive indeterminate life sentences are eligible for presentence conduct credit under Penal Code section 4019. Appellant, convicted of two sex offenses, received a sentence of 61 years to life in prison. The court gave him presentence custody credits for actual days of incarceration, but no presentence conduct credits based on the belief these credits were not available to defendants sentenced to an indeterminate life sentence. Appellant argued he was entitled to presentence conduct credits under Penal Code section 4019, although they would be subject to the 15% credit limitation of section 2933.1. The appellate…

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Name: People v. Sok
Case #: B213467
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/21/2010

A "strike" conviction does not double the enhancement attached to the instant felony; the term for the enhancement is added after the term for the felony is doubled.
Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (b)(5), establishing a parole eligibility date where the penalty for the instant offense is life, applies only if the felony provides for a life sentence, not where the enhancement on the felony results in an aggregate punishment of life in prison.
Penal Code section 246 is a felony subject to alternative penalty provision of Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (b)(4)(B) of life in prison with…

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Name: People v. Coyle
Case #: C058218
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/09/2009

Three convictions for murder based on a single criminal act were improper. Coyle was charged with three counts of first-degree murder with gun enhancements: murder in the course of a robbery, murder in the course of a burglary, and murder, all against the same victim. He was convicted on all three counts, with special circumstances in the first two and an inherent finding of malice in the third, and sentenced to life without parole (LWOP) tripled under the Three Strikes law. The appellate court agreed with appellant's contention that he could not be properly convicted on all three counts, because…

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