July 5, 2013

Public-records, Batson-Wheeler, death penalty opinions filing Monday

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court will file three opinions.

In Sierra Club v. Superior Court, the court will decide whether Orange County‘s computer database of public land records is exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act (Gov. Code, § 6250 et seq.) as a “computer mapping system[]” (Gov. Code, § 6254.9, subd. (b)), or whether that term is limited to computer programs that read such a database?

People v. Mata raises these issues: (1) Did the trial court err in reseating a challenged prospective juror following defendant’s successful Wheeler/Batson motion (People v. Wheeler (1978) 22 Cal.3d 258; Batson v. Kentucky (1986) 476 U.S. 79)? (2) Did the defense impliedly consent to reseating the juror? (3) If defense counsel did not consent, was the error reversible per se or subject to harmless error analysis?

In People v. DeHoyos, the court will decide an automatic direct appeal from an August 1993 judgment of death.

All three cases were argued on May 7.

The opinions can be viewed online Monday beginning at 10:00 a.m.

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