Archive for May, 2016

No new cases yesterday

May 31, 2016 Comments off

Of course, the Cal. Supremes issued no new cases yesterday, a holiday.


Death penalty affirmed

May 26, 2016 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes affirm another death penalty verdict


People v. Salazar



New statute satisfies Constitutional requirement for juvenile LWOP

May 26, 2016 Comments off

New statute satisfies Constitutional requirement for juvenile LWOP


Penal Code sections 3051 and 4801 — recently enacted by the Legislature to bring juvenile sentencing in conformity with Miller, Graham, and Caballero — moot Franklin’s constitutional claim.  Consistent with constitutional dictates, those statutes provide Franklin with the possibility of release after 25 years of imprisonment (Pen. Code, § 3051, subd. (b)(3)) and require the Board of Parole Hearings (Board) to “give great weight to the diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity” (id., § 4801, subd. (c)).  In light of this holding, we need not decide whether a life sentence with parole eligibility after 50 years of incarceration is the functional equivalent of an LWOP sentence and, if so, whether it is unconstitutional in Franklin’s case.

Although Franklin’s constitutional claim has been mooted by the passage of Senate Bill No. 260 (2013–2014 Reg. Sess.) (Senate Bill No. 260), he raises colorable concerns as to whether he was given adequate opportunity at sentencing to make a record of mitigating evidence tied to his youth.  The criteria for parole suitability set forth in Penal Code sections 3051 and 4801 contemplate that the Board’s decisionmaking at Franklin’s eventual parole hearing will be informed by youth-related factors, such as his cognitive ability, character, and social and family background at the time of the offense.  Because Franklin was sentenced before the high court decided Miller and before our Legislature enacted Senate Bill No. 260, the trial court understandably saw no relevance to mitigation evidence at sentencing.  In light of the changed legal landscape, we remand this case so that the trial court may determine whether Franklin was afforded sufficient opportunity to make such a record at sentencing.  This remand is necessarily limited; as section 3051 contemplates, Franklin’s two consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences remain valid, even though the statute has made him eligible for parole during his 25th year of incarceration.

People v. Franklin


Coming tomorrow

May 25, 2016 Comments off

Coming tomorrow from the Cal. Supremes:



S217699 (A135607; Contra Costa County Superior Court – 05-110301-9)

Argued in San Francisco 3-01-16


This case presents the following issues: (1) Did defendant’s sentence of 50 years to life for a homicide committed when he was a juvenile violate the Eighth Amendment? (2) Was the first issue rendered moot by the enactment of Penal Code section 3051?



S223651 (E049135; San Bernardino County Superior Court – SWHSS700444)

Argued in San Francisco 5-03-16


The court issued an order to show cause why relief should not be granted on the ground that petitioner was convicted on the basis of false evidence as defined in Penal Code section 1473, subdivision (e)



S077524 (Los Angeles County Superior Court – BA081564)

Argued in San Francisco 3-01-16


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

Misdemeanor sexual battery is not lesser included within sexual battery by fraud

May 23, 2016 Comments off

Misdemeanor sexual battery is not lesser included within sexual battery by fraud


“It is true that every defendant who commits sexual battery by misrepresentation of professional purpose also commits misdemeanor sexual battery:  The victim has been touched for a sexual purpose without consenting.  However, the victim’s lack of consent arises from a particular circumstance created by the defendant’s misrepresentation.  If the evidence does not support that circumstance, the misdemeanor offense cannot stand on the same factual foundation.  Here, the evidence failed to show that two of the victims’ consent was negated by misrepresentation.  That evidence was equally insufficient to establish lack of consent for purposes of misdemeanor sexual battery.  Lack of consent may be shown in other ways to prove the misdemeanor offense, but the jury did not consider alternate grounds.  Moreover, a charge of sexual battery under [Penal Code] section 243.4(c) does not notify the defendant of the need to contest the consent issue on any basis other than the alleged fraudulent representation.  Accordingly, misdemeanor sexual battery cannot be deemed a lesser included offense of sexual battery by misrepresentation of professional purpose.”


People v. Robinson



Coming Monday

May 20, 2016 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes will issue the following opinion on Monday:


S220247 (G048155; Orange County Superior Court – 11WF0857)

Argued in San Francisco 3-01-16

The court limited review to the following issue:  Is misdemeanor sexual battery (Pen. Code, § 243.4, subd. (e)(1)) a lesser included offense of sexual battery by fraudulent representation (Pen. Code, § 243.4, subd. (c))?

No new criminal cases tomorrow

May 18, 2016 Comments off

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