January 5, 2012

An all-criminal February Supreme Court calendar

The recently announced Supreme Court oral argument calendar consists of six cases, all criminal and half of them death penalty appeals.

On February 7 in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issues presented as stated on the court’s website):

People v. Manzo: Could defendant be convicted of discharging a firearm at an occupied motor vehicle in violation of Penal Code section 246, if he was outside the vehicle at the time he discharged his firearm but the firearm itself was inside the vehicle?

People v. Hernandez: Did the trial court’s gag order, which precluded defense counsel from discussing with defendant a sealed declaration of a testifying prosecution witness and a transcript of that witness’s plea-agreement proceedings, so completely deprive defendant of his right to counsel as to constitute structural error reversible without a showing of prejudice or did the gag order implicate defendant’s right to counsel in a manner requiring a showing of prejudice before reversal would be required?

People v. Myles: [This is an automatic appeal from an April 2001 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

People v. Weaver: [This is an automatic appeal from a May 1993 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

Maldonado v. Superior Court: (1) Was the order compelling a mental examination of petitioner under Penal Code section 1054.3, subdivision (b), reviewable by pretrial writ? (2) Should the prosecution be permitted to attend the examination? (3) Should the results of the mental examination be disclosed to the prosecution before trial, or only after the defendant presents mental state evidence at trial? (4) Should the trial court review the results of the mental examination in camera and on the motion of the defense to determine if they contain privileged material?

People v. Jones: [This is an automatic appeal from a February 1999 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

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