After the normal two-month summer hiatus, the Supreme Court will return to hearing oral arguments after Labor Day. It’s an unusually small calendar: only three cases. And they’re all criminal matters, including two death penalty appeals.
Like all calendars since April 2020, and for the foreseeable future, September’s arguments will be remote and based in San Francisco. (See here, here, here, here, and here.) They will be live streamed, as all arguments have been since May 2016.
On September 9, the court will hear the following cases (and, in the non-capital case, with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself):
People v. Navarro: This is an automatic direct appeal from a July 2008 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for death penalty appeals. But, in April 2020, the court asked for supplemental briefing on the issues whether expert testimony that is excludable under People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665 (see here) was admitted at defendant’s trial, whether the admission could be raised in the appeal, and, if so, whether the error was prejudicial. Counsel was appointed in May 2012. Initial briefing was completed in October 2015.
People v. Superior Court (Jones): Does Penal Code section 1054.9 entitle an eligible defendant to discovery of a trial prosecutor’s notes about jury selection with respect to a claim of Batson/Wheeler (Batson v. Kentucky (1986) 476 U.S. 79; People v. Wheeler (1978) 22 Cal.3d 258) error at trial? The court granted review in July 2019.
People v. Gonzalez: This is an automatic direct appeal from a May 2008 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for death penalty appeals. Counsel was appointed in December 2011. Briefing was completed in December 2015.