The Court of Appeal holds that the trial court erred when it denied recall of defendant’s sentence based solely on the finality of defendant’s case, where the CDCR initiated resentencing proceedings per PC 1172.1 (formerly PC 1170(d)). The Court of Appeal also holds that a subsequent letter from CDCR purporting to rescind its recommendation did not moot the appeal because the original letter conferred jurisdiction on the trial court, and the statute does not authorize CDCR to eliminate the trial court’s jurisdiction.

The Court of Appeal rejects defendant’s argument that the offense of carrying a loaded firearm in public without a license (PC 25850, 26010) was rendered unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen (2022) 142 S.Ct. 2111. The court reasons that although California’s licensing scheme includes a “good cause” requirement similar to the “proper cause” requirement found unconstitutional in Bruen, the requirement is severable and thus does not render the licensing scheme unconstitutional in its entirety.

The Court of Appeal holds that an 18-year-old suspect did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights when he made incriminating statements to police the day after he invoked his right to counsel. The youth was kept overnight in a cold holding cell with inadequate clothing, had little previous experience with the criminal justice system, evinced confusion about the role of an attorney, and was encouraged by police to speak without an attorney present.

The Supreme Court holds that evidence of appellant’s gang membership, access to weapons, and social media posts celebrating violence against rival gangs was insufficient to support appellant’s conviction for conspiracy to commit murder.

In an appeal from resentencing under former PC 1170(d) (now PC 1172.1), the Court of Appeal finds no prejudicial error because appellant was actually resentenced, just not to the extent recommended by CDCR. The court holds that the PC 1172.1 “presumption favoring recall and resentencing” is not a presumption for a particular sentence, and that the trial court retains discretion to impose sentence without any further application of the presumption. The court remands on the limited issue of whether to apply excess custody credits to appellant’s restitution fines and parole period.

In an appeal from jurisdiction and disposition, the Court of Appeal vacates the juvenile court’s jurisdictional findings for lack of substantial evidence and directs the court to dismiss the petition on remand. Even though the juvenile court terminated jurisdiction after the notice of appeal was filed, the Court of Appeal determines the appeal is not moot because the jurisdictional findings could adversely affect or prejudice mother.

“This case presents the following issues: May an appellate court take additional evidence to remedy the failure of the child welfare agency and the trial court to comply with the inquiry, investigation, and notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.; Welf. & Inst. Code, § 224 et seq.), and if so, what procedures must be followed?”

In an appeal from an SVP commitment following a bench trial, defendant argued that the lack of a requirement that SVPs personally waive their jury trial right violates equal protection given that there is such a requirement for MDOs and NGIs. The Court of Appeal agrees with the parties that SVPs are similarly situated to MDOs and NGIs in this context and, applying rational basis review, rejects the AG’s two proffered rationales for the disparate treatment. The court remands “to give the People a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate a valid constitutional justification.”

The Court of Appeal holds that the People may not appeal a trial court’s post-preliminary hearing, pretrial order declaring a wobbler offense charged as a felony to be a misdemeanor, even when the order is in excess of the trial court’s jurisdiction.    

In an automatic appeal in a capital case, the Supreme Court affirms the conviction and death sentence, rejecting claims related to Verdin error for ordering defendant to submit to an examination by a prosecution mental health expert, evidentiary error, prosecutorial misconduct, Sanchez error, and penalty phase challenges to the excusal of a prospective juror, the scope of cross examination, instructional error, and the exclusion of defense expert testimony related to prison conditions.

^