August 31, 2012

BEWARE: DUI CHECKPOINTS ARE ALL OVER SAN DIEGO THIS 4TH OF JULY

As is usually the case, the streets will be swarming with cops this labor Day weekend. Expect roving saturation patrols in urban areas like the Gaslamp District and Del Mar Plaza, as well as plenty of DUI checkpoints.

If you are arrested, please contact my office at (866) 464-6662.

Below is just a sampling of checkpoint locations. Avoid at all cost.

August 31, 2012

FUGGETABOUTIT! FAILING TO GIVE A REASONABLE DOUBT INSTRUCTION - NOT A BIG DEAL SAYS CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT!

In this strange, strange case, the judge failed to tell the jurors that they could only convict the
defendant of the charged gang offense if they found it had been proved
beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court admits that this is federal constitutional error. But they say that itis not structural error requiring reversal, it's subject to a harmless error test. They find harmless error, because the court did give reasonable doubt instructions on a second count.

Justice Liu writes a searing dissent (joined by Kennard), calling the majority's position "mystifying," and "contrary to common sense," for all the good that does.

People v. Aranda; 2012 DJ DAR 11840; DJ, 8/28/12; Cal. Supremes

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August 31, 2012

DEATH PENALTY REVERSED BECAUSE OF PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT-SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW

The California Supreme Court here reverses a death verdict on the basis of a Brady (373 U.S. 83) violation at the penalty phase. It seems that the defendant
claimed that he killed because the Columbian Mafia had threatened to kill the defendant and his entire family if he didn't.

It turns out that the prosecution had evidence which supported this claim but failed to turn it over. The DA actually argued at penalty that there was no evidence to support the duress claims of the defendant.

We will be watching to see if the Coudrt refers the prosecutor to the California State Bar for
prosecution. Don't hold your breath.

In re Bacigalup
o; 2012 DJ DAR 11861; DJ, 8/28/12; Cal. Supremes

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