If we wanna reverse, we gonna reverse

18 Feb

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The Court of Appeal had held that their ruling that there was insufficient evidence of an arson (because a motor home is not a “structure”…does that count for burglary too?) barred a retrial under PC 654 for the lesser related (not included) offense of arson to property.  The Supremes reversed, reasoning that because the jury had been instructed on arson of property there was no 654 problem.

The Supremes then remanded the matter for the COA to decide whether Double Jeopardy barred retrial–a point the defendant raised for the first time in the Supreme court.  The COA held that a retrial was barred under DJ.  The Court reasoned that because arson of property is not a lesser included offense, the trial court should have had the jury reach a verdict on that count.  Because the court did not, and because there was no legal necessity for a lack of a verdict on that count (e.g. a mistrial), DJ attached.  D’s 48 YEAR to life in prison sentence is no longer, and he cannot be retried.  Wow.

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