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Name: People v. Hem
Case #: C086016
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/11/2019

After receiving information of potential jury misconduct during deliberations, the trial court was required to inquire of the jurors to determine the scope of the misconduct. Hem was charged with first degree murder after shooting his brother. It was undisputed at trial that both Hem and his brother were armed, there was an argument, and Hem shot and killed his brother. While the jury was deliberating, defense counsel moved for a mistrial based on jury misconduct because a colleague overheard four jurors in the hallway discussing the case and potentially coming to a compromise with other jurors to avoid letting…

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Name: Turner v. McEwen
Case #: 13-56385
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/14/2016

No clearly established federal law holds that juror misconduct occurs when jurors observe a private actor's courtroom conduct during a witness' testimony. Turner was convicted in California of attempted carjacking (Pen. Code, §§ 664/ 215, subd. (a)) and gun use causing great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subd. (d)). At trial, the victim could not remember identifying Turner as his assailant shortly after the crime. Following his conviction, Turner filed a motion for new trial based on juror misconduct. He stated that the jury had observed a woman in the courtroom shaking her head as the victim testified. The…

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Name: People v. Verducci
Case #: A140040
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 01/11/2016

Trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying a motion to dismiss (Pen. Code, § 1385) made prior to retrial after three previous hung juries. Verducci was charged with murder and various enhancements. The first jury deadlocked 8 to 4 in favor of guilt, resulting in a mistrial. Verducci was retried and a mistrial was declared after the second jury deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of guilt. A third jury hung 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal and the court declared another mistrial. Verducci was tried a fourth time. Before trial he moved to dismiss the case…

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Name: People v. Bell
Case #: F064909
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/15/2015

Plea of former jeopardy based on prosecutorial goading must be tried to a jury unless the facts are uncontested and there is only one reasonable inference to draw from them. A group of gang members robbed a casino using assault weapons. One of their girlfriends informed the police, who began monitoring the gang and discovered that they were planning to rob the casino again. A SWAT team intercepted the gang en route. At their trial for various offenses, a prosecution witness violated an in limine ruling and the trial court granted a defense motion for a mistrial. After the mistrial,…

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Name: People v. Reese
Case #: B253610
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 09/17/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 1/13/2016 (S230259)

The trial court did not violate defendant's right to equal protection when it denied his request for transcripts of the opening statements and closing arguments presented during his first trial, which ended in a hung jury. Reese was charged with making criminal threats and other offenses. His first trial ended in a hung jury. Prior to retrial, Reese, who was representing himself, moved for a complete transcript of the first trial. The trial court provided him with transcripts of the witnesses' testimony, but not the opening statements and closing arguments. Reese's request for the missing transcripts was denied.…

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Name: People v. Murillo
Case #: B246522
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 11/13/2014

Trial court should have granted a mistrial where prosecution asked over 100 leading questions of a witness who refused to testify. During Murillo's trial for first degree murder, the prosecution called Valencia, an eyewitness who had identified Murillo as the shooter, to testify. Valencia refused to testify, stating "I've got nothing to say." Over defense objections, the trial court then allowed the prosecutor to ask 110 leading questions about Valencia's out of court statements and to display the photographic lineups on which he had written that Murillo was the shooter. A motion for mistrial was denied, and the jury convicted…

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Name: People v. Sullivan
Case #: B237734
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 06/17/2013

Double jeopardy bars a retrial on a substantive offense when jurors reached a verdict on the substantive offense but deadlocked as to an enhancement. Sullivan was charged with robbery and assault likely to produce great bodily injury (GBI). It was also alleged that he inflicted GBI in violation of section 12022.7. The jury reached a verdict on the substantive assault charge, but was unable to reach a verdict on whether Sullivan had actually inflicted GBI. The trial court concluded that it could not take a verdict on the substantive offense without the enhancement, and declared a mistrial.…

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Name: People v. Whitaker
Case #: C064531
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/13/2013

Defendants did not suffer double jeopardy or due process violations where charges were refiled after initial dismissal prior to jury being sworn. Whitaker and two codefendants were charged with attempted murder and other offenses. After the first jury was selected, the trial court delayed swearing in the jury, pending resolution of witness problems. When the witness issues were resolved adversely to the prosecution, it moved to dismiss the case for lack of evidence. The trial court granted the dismissal motion. The prosecution refiled the charges, and the defendants moved to dismiss, contending that allowing the prosecution…

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Name: Stanley v. Superior Court (Los Angeles County)
Case #: B238486
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/22/2012

Words and actions of counsel which lead the trial court to believe that defense counsel impliedly consents to a mistrial will defeat a subsequent motion for dismissal based on double jeopardy. After a jury with four alternates was sworn, there were a series of personal problems which resulted in three juror dismissals. A fourth juror then contracted conjunctivitis which his doctor advised was highly contagious and that he should stay home for two days. The court proposed that the remainder of the jury be queried about a two day continuance, but if any of the remaining jurors had a…

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Name: People v. Tran
Case #: G036560
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/31/2009

The trial court did not err in admitting evidence of appellant's prior conviction for extortion. Tran raised six issues in the appeal from his convictions for murder, attempted murder, and street terrorism. First, Tran argued that the court should have excluded the gang expert's testimony concerning his 1994 conviction for extortion. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the evidence was relevant to prove the substantive charge of street terrorism, which uses the phrase "pattern of criminal gang activity." Further, the balancing between probativeness and undue prejudice under section 352 weighed in favor of admissibility. Given the elements of…

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