Three Strike Offenders Eligible for Resentencing, But There are Restrictions

3 strikes law

In 2012, California voters passed Proposition 36 by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent, and significantly changed California’s well known “Three Strike You’re Out” law. Prior to Proposition 36, when a defendant was convicted of any felony after already suffering two prior serious felony convictions, they would be …

Gang Enhancements

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In the 1980s, there was an explosion of gang related crimes in California.  In 1988 the California Legislature responded by enacting the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act, also known as the gang enhancements law.  For anyone convicted of a felony, if the prosecution is also able to prove …

Is That Dog Sniffing Your Front Door Violating Your Privacy?

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The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states that people have the right to privacy and that extends to the right against unreasonable searches and seizures.  Police are not permitted to search a person without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, and they cannot search a home without probable cause and a …

Three Strikes Law Modified by Proposition 36

Hands on Prison Bars

Last night, California voters approved a limited modification of the so-called “three strikes law.” Most criminal defendants who have two prior convictions for a serious or violent felony will no longer face a 25 years to life sentence. The amended provision of the law mandates a life sentence for a …

CA Supreme Court Says Lab Report Does Not Violate Confrontation Rights

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The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution grants a criminal defendant the right to confront adverse witnesses.  Prosecutors cannot introduce testimonial out-of-court statements at trial without calling the witness to testify and without permitting the defendant to cross-examine that witness.  If a statement is not testimonial, however, a defendant …

California Allows Prison Inmates To Earn Work Time Credits While Incarcerated

In California, defendants convicted of a crime and sentenced to a determinate term in the state prison are required to serve their entire sentence imposed by the court, except for a reduction in the time served as a result of their performance in work, training or education programs organized by …

Former Arizona Congressman Must Face Public Corruption Charges

Members of the United States Congress are generally protected from being criminally prosecuted for their “legislative acts” under the Speech or Debate Clause of the United States Constitution. Pursuant to the clause, members of both Houses of Congress are privileged from being arrested, except for treason, felony, or breach of …

Alleged Tucson Shooter Can Refuse Antipsychotic Medication

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that Jared Lee Loughner, an individual who is charged with shooting Representative Gabrielle Giffords, could refuse taking forced antipsychotic medication while he appealed his treatment prescribed by prison doctors. Loughner, who has been prosecuted for the Tucson shooting, is currently facing …

California Makes it Harder for “Lifers” to Parole

The primary purpose of a “lifer” parole hearing is to determine whether an individual is suitable for parole while serving a life sentence that allows for parole. The initial decision on the inmate’s suitability has to be made by the California Board of Parole Hearings, which evaluates various circumstances related …

Supreme Court Allows Execution of a Mexican Citizen in Texas

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court refused to stay the execution of a Mexican citizen, Humberto Leal Garcia, who was convicted of the 1994 rape and murder in Texas, despite requests from his defense attorneys and the United States and Mexican governments to postpone the execution.  A few hours later, …