Corpus delicti - erroneous admission of statement
People v. Powers-Monachello (A12435, First Dist., 10/20/10) Cal.App.4th
Although defendant's extrajudicial statements might have been introduced to determine whether he should be held to answer, they were irrelevant until the corpus delicti rule was satisfied. Rule requires that prosecution has to prove fact of the crime and existence of criminal agency before a defendant's statements may be introduced.
Guilty pleas - Marsden hearing requirement when defendant wishes to withdraw plea
People v. Sanchez (F057147, Fifth Dist., 10/19/10) Cal.App.4th
Trial court erred by failing to conduct a Marsden hearing after defendant indicated desire to withdraw his plea based on incompetence of defense counsel, and instead appointing substitute counsel. Case published to provide guidance. "That procedure includes 1) making an adequate inquiry of the defendant and his or her defense counsel, to learn the general basis for the defendant's motion; 2) conducting a Marsden hearing, if the general basis for the motion is the alleged incompetence of defense counsel; 3) relieving defense counsel and appointing a new attorney for the defendant if, and only if, "a failure to replace the appointed attorney would substantially impair the [defendant's] right to assistance of counsel." (People v. Smith (1993) 6 Cal.4th 684, 696 (Smith).)"
Juveniles - changing finding
In re E.R. (A124706, First Dist., 10/21/10) Cal.App.4th
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Lillian Sing (retired) erred when it changed its own verdict from second degree murder to first degree. No inconsistency in concluding that a defendant conspired to commit first degree murder and committed a second degree murder.
Sentencing - one-third midterm
People v. Sanders (B206569, Second Dist., 10/22/10) Cal.App.4th
Reversed for imposition of one-third midterm, not full term, for attempted murder in count 2.
Speedy trial - delay within statutory period
People v. Graves (B220129, Second Dist., 10/25/10) Cal.App.4th
Sham trial begun after trial court denied continuance for DA to secure witnesses who had not shown up did not trigger double jeopardy protection. Denial of continuance within statutory period of Penal Code section 1382 for failing to show good cause was error. See Malengo v. Municipal Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 813.
Voting rights - Arizona registration requirements
Gonzalez v. Arizona (9th Cir. 10/26/10, 08-17094) F.3d
Arizona Prop. 200's documentary proof of citizenship requirement conflicts with federal law. The requirement that the voter submit photo proof of identification at the polling place is valid. Opinion by Ikuta, concurrence by Sandra Day O'Connor, dissent by Kozinski.
Witnesses - self-incrimination
Earp v. Cullen (08-99005, 9th Cir., 10/19/10) F.3d
Petitioner was denied right to full and fair opportunity to prove claim of prosecutorial misconduct when court accepted witness' anticipatory Fifth Amendment invocation, made on the basis of possible perjury prosecution for present testimony.