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News from the Director

Cal. Supreme Court Disposes of Numerous Cases Upon Finality of Black II and Sandoval.
September 20, 2007

As described in some detail in a California Supreme Court press release, on September 12, 2007, the Court disposed of numerous cases raising Blakely-Cunningham claims. Depending on the issues presented by the cases, the Court either dismisssed review, transferred the case back to the Court of Appeal in light of Black II and Sandoval, or ordered that the case remain held pending disposition of either People v. Towne or People v. French. According to the press release, " Towne will address whether the exception to the federal Constitution’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, which the United States Supreme Court recognized in Cunningham for 'the fact of a prior conviction,' applies to other recidivism-related aggravating circumstances" (i.e. the defendant has served a prior prison term; the defendant was on parole when the crime was committed; andthe defendant's prior performance on probation or parole was unsatisfactory ." French involves an issue limited to guilty pleas: whether a defendant, by entering a no contest plea with an understanding that the court could impose the maximum sentence, "is deemed to have admitted that his conduct, as a matter of fact, can support that term."

 

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