Death penalty affirmed

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment

The Cal. Supremes affirmed another death penalty case today:

People v. Jones

S075725

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S075725.PDF

Coming tomorrow

July 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Coming tomorrow from the Cal. Supremes:

PEOPLE v. JONES (KIONGOZI)
S075725 (Los Angeles County Superior Court – NA031990-01)
Argued in San Francisco 5-30-17

This matter is an automatic appeal from the judgment of death.

No new criminal cases Monday

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

The Cal. Supremes will issue no new criminal cases Monday.

No new criminal cases tomorrow

July 12, 2017 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes will issue no new criminal cases tomorrow, Thursday.

Violation of juvenile court protocol does not define due process

July 11, 2017 Comments off

Violation of juvenile court protocol does not define due process

Like adults, juveniles have a due process right to be free from indefinite commitment if found incompetent to stand trial. In an effort to protect this right, the Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Juvenile Division, issued a protocol addressing the process by which minors are found incompetent and later found to have attained competency. The protocol limits the detention of incompetent minors to 120 days. We granted review to decide whether detention of a minor beyond the protocol’s 120-day limit without evidence of progress toward attaining competency violates the right to due process and whether a violation of the protocol establishes a presumption of due process violation.
Defendant Albert C. contends that detention beyond the protocol’s 120-day limit presumptively violates due process, as In re Jesus G. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 157, 174 (Jesus G.) held. In this case, the Court of Appeal disagreed with Jesus G. and held that “the 120-day limit on detention in the Protocol lacks the force of law and it therefore does not define due process.” We hold that although trial courts are not barred from adopting such protocols as guidance or as local rules, the Court of Appeal below was correct that the protocol does not presumptively or otherwise define due process. Further, we decline to decide whether the length of detention in this case violated due process and instead hold that any violation was not prejudicial in light of the juvenile court’s finding of malingering.

In re Albert C.

S231315

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S231315.PDF

Coming Monday

July 7, 2017 Comments off

Coming Monday from the Cal. Supremes:

IN RE ALBERT C.
S231315 (B256480; Los Angeles County Superior Court – MJ21492)
Argued in San Francisco 5-04-17

The court limited review to the following issues: (1) Did the juvenile court violate minor’s due process rights by detaining him well past the 120-day limit established in the Los Angeles County Superior Court Juvenile Division’s “Amended Competency to Stand Trial Protocol” (Protocol), without evidence of progress toward attaining competency? (2) Does a violation of the Protocol establish a presumption of a due process violation?

The 6th Amendment right to confrontation was violated by admission of a co-defendant’s confession

July 3, 2017 Comments off

The 6th Amendment right to confrontation was violated by admission of a co-defendant’s confession

Defendant Ruthetta Lois Hopson was tried on charges that she, along with her boyfriend, Julius Thomas, was responsible for the 2011 murder of her housemate, Laverna Brown. In her trial testimony, defendant pinned the blame on Thomas, who had since died. In rebuttal, the prosecution introduced a confession Thomas had given to detectives following his arrest, in which he pinned much of the blame on defendant. Defendant argues that the admission of Thomas’s confession violated her right under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution to confront the witnesses against her. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument, concluding that the claim fails because Thomas’s confession was presented not to establish the truth of his account, but instead to undermine defendant’s competing account of their joint crime.

We conclude, contrary to the Court of Appeal, that the jury was in fact asked to consider Thomas’s confession for its truth and that the admission of the confession thus violated defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront her accusers. We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal and remand for further proceedings to determine whether the error was prejudicial in light of other evidence in the case and whether defendant therefore must be given a new trial.

People v. Hopson

S228193

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S228193.PDF