In the News

Case Summaries

Criminal Law & Procedure

[06/21] In Re Jose S.
In an action seeking to seal juvenile records, the juvenile court's denial of the motion is affirmed where: 1) a second assault charge was not a separate case; and 2) assault is among the offenses that disqualify the sealing of records.

[06/21] US v. Weaver
Conviction for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud are affirmed where over defendant's argument that disclaimers of extra-contract representations did not render salespeople's oral misrepresentations immaterial.

[06/21] US v. Diaz-Concepcion
Conviction of firearms and drugs offenses is affirmed over defendant's argument that his plea was not knowing and voluntary because the court failed to explain the charge at the plea hearing, where the attestations by the defendant and those found in the plea colloquy and other court documents and statements were adequate.

[06/21] US v. Ortiz-Vega
In an ineffective assistance of counsel claim arising from a drug distribution conspiracy case, in which defendant claimed that lack of communication from his initial state-appointed attorney resulted in the loss of a better plea deal than the one he eventually accepted, the trial court's decision is reversed and remanded where it was error to delay ruling on the merits of the claims until sentencing.

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Sentencing

[06/19] People v. Sivongxxay
In the automatic criminal appeal in which defendant was found guilty and sentenced to death for first degree murder, robbery, and attempted robbery, with special circumstances enhancements, the Court of Appeal's decision is affirmed in its entirety where: 1) the defendant's valid waiver of a jury trial right is satisfied if they appreciate the nature of the right and the consequences of its waiver; and 2) no additional right to be advised of the specific charges, enhancements, allegations, or other issues to which the waiver may apply is required.

[06/19] US v. Burden
Life sentences for convictions of racketeering, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base and five kilograms or more of cocaine, are vacated where the district court erred when it implicitly hinged the defendants' life terms of supervised release on the need for retribution--an imperative that is relevant to fashioning a term of incarceration, but not a term of supervised release.

[06/19] People v. Brooks
In response to a petition for rehearing filed after the issuance of the court's prior opinion in a criminal case involving kidnapping, torture, and murder charges that resulted in the death penalty, the court: 1) vacated the jury's finding that the murder was committed while defendant was engaged in the commission of kidnapping due to the trial court's failure to instruct on the independent felonious purpose rule; but 2) affirmed the judgment in all other respects, including the sentence of death.

[06/19] People v. Sivongxxay
In response to a petition for rehearing filed after the issuance of the court's prior opinion in a criminal case involving kidnapping, torture, and murder charges that resulted in the death penalty, the court vacated the jury's finding that the murder was committed while defendant was engaged in the commission of kidnapping due to the trial court's failure to instruct on the independent felonious purpose rule, but affirmed the judgment in all other respects, including the sentence of death.

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