insufficient evidence of contributing to the delinquency of a minor

9 Dec

nice.  You have to prove that D actually contributed to or encouraged the delinquency.  Here, there was no such proof.

Another good read: The Case Against the Supreme Court

8 Dec

Another great read.   Kind of infuriating how terrible many Supreme Court cases have been, though there have been some good decisions.  Pretty good summary of con law in all its pitfalls and glory.

Good Books

4 Dec

I just finished reading Courtroom 302.  So good.  Love the backstories on all the defendants.  Highly recommended.



I also read Getting Life about a man falsely convicted of murdering his wife.  Another great read.


Finally, I read Just Mercy.  So so good. Really makes me want to be a death penalty appellate lawyer, which is my next move.


Dear DA: Stop using diagrams to explain BRD

4 Dec

DA presents a diagram of the boundaries of California and says you can still know the state is CA even if the victim’s description of it as inconsistencies.  This doesn’t even make sense.  But, anyway, this improperly explained proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  REVERSED.

Interesting issue before 9th circuit

19 Nov

D was found guilty for felony murder after the jury found that he shot someone during a robbery. He told the prosecution after the conviction that actually his cousin was the shooter.  The state believed him and had him resentenced from LWOP to possibility of parole.  D appealed saying this deprived him the right to have the issue of whether he was an aider and abettor decided by the jury. the 9th circuit agreed and decided he was entitled to a new trial.  Interesting issue, right result, D gets a new trial.

Nice second dist opinion

13 Nov

That DA got to ask witness who refused to testify over 100 questions which he refused to answer e.g. didn’t you identify D? violated the confrontation clause and was prejudicial. LOVELY.

heartbreaking juvenile LWOP case

3 Nov

Upheld LWOP for juvenile convicted of homicide.  His social history is heartbreaking.  Court held that the trial court did not violate the 8th amendment as set forth in Graham because it considered all of the factors Graham set forth for LWOP for a juvenile offense to be constitutional.  Remember, Graham did not say LWOP was constitutional, only that mandatory LWOP without consideration to the juvenile’s potential for rehabilitation to be unconstitutional. I dont think this case has anything novel in terms of precedent, correct me if i’m wrong, it’s just seriously heartbreaking.

worst. show. ever.

28 Oct

new pd show on USA called Benched, preview below, is super offensive. I was willing to set aside the most offensive premise that a high paid corporate lawyer with no criminal experience whatsoever who is fired can’t find any other job so she settles for the PD who readily hires her.  YA RIGHT.

But there are bigger problems. This just in: yes poor people accused of stupid crimes are easy to poke fun at.  There is a fine line between finding the humor in the ridiculousness of the system and laughing at indigent criminal defendants because of their predicament.  This show does not dance the line properly and it is seriously offensive.  I can’t stomach to give it another chance.

I’m also really offended that major entities like NYTimes are giving it good reviews. No link provided because I don’t link to horseshit.

poopy pitchess/brady ruling

28 Oct

court of appeal refuses to hold that the trial court must order the da to run cop rap sheets. here, they also hold such evidence is not discoverable through pitchess because county counsel said the rap sheet isnt in the personnel file. The court also says that the prosecutor is essentially in charge of brady so if there is brady they still must turn it over. so ridiculous. let’s just order them to run it or county counsel to run it.

Dear Judge: watch what you say!

23 Oct

During pre instruction a judge accidentally said the defendant pled guilty instead of not guilty.  The error was not corrected until deliberations when the jury asked whether they heard the judge correctly. The judge apologized and say he had erred in saying the defendant had pled guilty.  Not enough to cure the error says Judge Noonan!  That the jurors thought that the defendant pled guilty, even though the judge did pre instruct that he had pled not guilty to each count, probably affected how they heard the evidence. INTERESTING.