The Court remanded the case for the court to exercise its discretion and consider evidence of appellant’s psychological, physical, or childhood trauma in sentencing him under the newly enacted Penal Code section 1170(b)(6).

[Published Opinion] The Court of Appeal reversed the true findings on the allegation that appellant had suffered out-of-state convictions for serious or violent felonies. The court reasoned that the elements of robbery under Washington law are broader than under California law, and that the trial court could not supply the missing element by making findings of fact based on documents that supplied the factual basis for appellant’s plea, where appellant admitted only that there was a factual basis for the plea and did not admit the truth of any of the allegations in the documents.

The juvenile court’s order terminating parental rights is conditionally reversed for ICWA compliance because the Agency failed to conduct an adequate inquiry under ICWA. This was prejudicial error because the record indicated there was readily obtainable information likely to bear meaningfully upon whether the child was an Indian child.

The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order denying appellant’s resentencing petition, concluding that appellant had adequately pleaded a prima facie case for resentencing relief under former Penal Code section 1170.95 (now § 1172.6) and that the court erred by failing to appoint counsel before summarily denying the petition.  

The Court of Appeal remanded for resentencing in light of recent amendments (Senate Bill No. 567 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.)) to Penal Code section 1170, which now requires that circumstances in aggravation used to justify imposition of the upper term be found true by the jury, admitted by the defendant, or based on prior convictions evidenced by a certified record of conviction. Here, the record failed to show what aggravating factors the trial court relied on, whether the jury found such factors true beyond a reasonable doubt, and whether the aggravating factors that the court could consider under the amended statute would cause the court to re-impose the upper term.

The Court of Appeal held that the following probation conditions must be stricken or narrowed: (1) condition requiring appellant to “report any law enforcement contact to the Probation Officer within 24 hours for any reason” because it is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in that it can be triggered by even the most insignificant contacts; (2) the condition requiring appellant to “[c]ooperate with the Probation Officer in a plan for psychological, psychiatric, or substance abuse treatment, or other rehabilitation, and follow all directions of the Probation Officer,” because it amounted to an unconstitutional delegation of judicial authority in that it allows the probation department to insist appellant participate in any type of plan for rehabilitation; (3) the condition requiring appellant to “[p]rovide a copy of any medical prescription to the Probation Department within 2 business days of its receipt” because it was overbroad in that it was not limited to psychotropic drugs or any other drugs that might be connected to defendant’s rehabilitation; and (4) the condition that prohibits appellant from associating with any “ ‘person, as designated by your probation officer,’ “ because it is unconstitutionally overbroad.  

The Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred by imposing a $15,000 ($5,000 for each conviction), when the maximum allowable fine under Penal Code section 1202.4(b) is $10,000. The Court also directed the trial court to correct errors in the abstract of judgment.

The Court of Appeal held that, in denying appellant’s Penal Code section 1172.6 resentencing petition, the trial court improperly relied on portions of the Court’s prior unpublished opinion that were premised on the weighing of evidence presented at trial, and that the record of conviction did not conclusively establish the jury’s verdict was premised on a theory of implied malice second degree murder.  Accordingly, the court reversed the order denying appellant’s 1172.6 petition and remanded the matter for further proceedings.

The Court of Appeal held that the admission of the alleged victim’s conditional examination violated appellant’s Sixth Amendment confrontation rights because the prosecution failed to establish it exercised due diligence in securing the alleged victim’s presence at trial. In reaching this conclusion, the Court noted that there was no evidence before the trial court (other than the prosecution’s unsubstantiated claim) that the alleged victim, who was living in Guatemala, had no plans of returning to California and, more importantly, the record did not establish that the prosecutor made any efforts to procure the witness’s attendance at trial. The Court further held that the error was prejudicial to the battery conviction where respondent could not point to any other evidence to support that conviction.

The Court of Appeal held that the juvenile court did not apply the correct standards in evaluating appellant’s requests to dismiss his juvenile petitions under Welfare and Institutions Code section 782 and to seal his records under WIC section 781 because the court did not consider appellant’s honorable discharge from DJJ as evidence of his rehabilitation. Therefore, the court remanded the matter for the juvenile court to exercise its discretion under section 782 and 781. However, in the event the court declines to dismiss the petitions under section 782, the Court ordered that it “shall then dismiss them under section 1179.”  (§ 1179(d).)