Sep. 13, 2022 – People v. Garcia (1st Dist., Div. 5, A161579, A161644)

The Court of Appeal affirms the denial of defendants’ motion for mistrial, which defendants made following a 103-day midtrial delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The court emphasizes that there is no “fixed rule” with respect to midtrial delays caused by COVID-19, and that “the unique facts of each case must govern the court’s analysis.” The court additionally holds that AB 518 applies retroactively to defendants’ case, but that even the amended version of PC 654 does not allow a trial court to “essentially strike” a special-circumstance finding by staying a sentence for special-circumstance murder.