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Decisions in Criminal Cases Including Reversal of Gov. Schwarzenneger's Parole Decision

By FindLaw Staff on March 17, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In In re Moses, No. A124814, the First District faced a challenge to Governor Schwarzenneger's reversal of the Parole Board's third decision to grant parole to a defendant convicted of second-degree murder nearly thirty years ago.  Although the defendant's bahavior in prison has been exemplary, has almost a spotless disciplinary record, and has accepted responsibility and shown remorse, the Governor found that defendant's release on parole posed an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.

In vacating the order, the court concluded that the Governor violated defendant's due process rights as his decision was based on seriously flawed reasons, unsupported by any evidence, and failed to articulate any rational nexus between his reasons for reversing the parole grant. 

In In re Juarez, No. A125665, the First District dealt with a defendant's request for habeas relief to be released from prison after the Board of Parole Hearings denied parole.  Defendant had been serving a sentence for his second-degree murder conviction for killing a man with his vehicle while impaired by PCP and other drugs. 

The court concluded that the Board abused its discretion in denying parole as it had relied on three reasons not supported by the evidence nor probative of defendant's dangerousness.  Thus, in granting the relief, the court held that in light of the nature of defendant's crime, period of time elapsed since the crime, affirmative evidence of defendant's conduct, and his rehabilitative efforts, there is lack of evidence to support the Board's finding that defendant poses a danger to public safety.

In People v. Brooks, No. B216238, the Second District faced a challenge to the trial court's order imposing a probation condition barring defendant's use of medical marijuana despite a physician's recommendation for personal use.  In affirming the decision, the court held that despite section 11362.795, a trial court has the discretion to impose probation conditions that prohibit even legal activities and that defendant has not presented any compelling reason for making an exception for medical marijuana. 

In People v. Bankers Ins. Co., No. B213065, the Second District addressed a denial of a surety's motion to vacate a judgment ordering the forfeiture of an $80,000 bail bond.  The court concluded that the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction when it extended the appearance period beyond the time permitted by statute, but nonetheless held that the surety is estopped from challenging the forfeiture order and the summary judgment as the surety stipulated and/or consented to the procedure in excess of jurisdiction. 

In People v. Brown, No. C056510, the Third District addressed an amendment to Penal Code section 4019 that went into effect after defendant was sentence but before his conviction for selling methamphetamine became final.  The court concluded that defendant is entitled to the additional conduct credits provided by the amended section 4019, and thus, defendant is entitled to 62 days of conduct credits because he served 62 days of presentence custody. 

In In re L.B., No. C061010, the Third District faced a challenge to a juvenile court's conviction of a minor defendant for various misdemeanor offenses following a finding that the minor was competent to stand trial.  In reversing the decision, the court held that the juvenile court erred when the court suspended proceedings and ordered a competency evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist to determine whether the minor is mentally retarded, but failed to appoint the director of the regional center for the developmentally disabled to examine the minor.

In People v. Lynch, No. D053717, the Fourth District faced a challenge to a conviction for attempted murder.  Defendant argued that counts 2 through 6 should be dismissed because they were not charged within the applicable statute of limitations.  However, pursuant to People v. Williams (1999) 21 Cal.4th 335, the court held that the appropriate remedy is to remand the case to trial court for determination as to whether the statute of limitations was tolled. 

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