Aug. 25, 2022 – People v. Villa Ramirez (Supreme Ct., S099844)

In an automatic appeal in a capital case, the Supreme Court affirms defendant’s convictions and death sentence, rejecting claims related to bias on the part of the prosecutor’s office, change of venue, jury selection, and evidentiary error. Though the court rejects defendant’s penalty phase claim related to the prosecution’s use of inconsistent theories as to defendant’s involvement in an uncharged murder, two justices write a concurring opinion calling for “additional scrutiny” of the prosecutor’s motives by way of a habeas corpus petition.