Justice Goodwin Liu issued another separate statement at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference. Other conference actions of note included:
- In People v. Delgadillo, the court said it would decide: “What procedures must appointed counsel and the Courts of Appeal follow when counsel determines that an appeal from an order denying postconviction relief lacks arguable merit?” Under People v. Wende (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436, an attorney’s no-merit determination in an appeal from a conviction requires the appellate court to itself review the entire record to verify the appeal is frivolous. (See here.) In a two-page, unpublished opinion, the Second District, Division Four, Court of Appeal declined to do a Wende review of Delgadillo’s appeal from the denial of his resentencing petition, holding, “if a defendant’s counsel files a brief indicating she has been unable to identify any arguable appellate issues and, after notice, the defendant does not exercise his or her right to file a supplemental brief, we presume the order appealed from is correct and dismiss the appeal as abandoned.” Other courts, however, do conduct Wende reviews in those appeals; for example, the Fourth District, Division One, did one just yesterday in People v. Buggs.
- The court also granted review in In re Christopher L., and it limited the issue to: “Is it structural error, and thus reversible per se, for a juvenile court to proceed with jurisdiction and disposition hearings without an incarcerated parent’s presence and without appointing the parent an attorney?” In a published opinion, the Second District, Division One, admitted to being “troubled by the errors” that “affected the due process afforded” a father, but found the errors to be harmless. The Supreme Court denied review of, but depublished, a similar (divided) opinion — in In re S.P. — three months ago.
- The court denied review in People v. Shelp, but it depublished the opinion of the Second District, Division Six, which held custody credits don’t accrue with each Post Release Community Supervision flash incarceration or jail sanction, accruals that would shorten the PRCS three-year supervision period. The appeal was moot (the defendant’s supervision period had already expired), but the appellate court decided the issue anyway, calling it both “novel” and one that “is likely to recur and is of continuing public interest.” With the depublication, guidance on the issue will have to come from another source.
- Justice Liu recorded a vote dissenting from the denial of review in People v. Ramirez, a case of what a difference a day could have made. In a divided unpublished opinion, the Second District, Division Five, rejected a Mexican defendant’s claim that her attorney had not adequately tried to mitigate the immigration consequences of the sentencing after her no-contest plea. The superior court sentenced the defendant to five years probation and one year in jail. If the jail sentence had been shorter by just one day, the defendant would have had a better chance at avoiding deportation. The dissenting appellate court justice said that, after the sentence was announced, “the only reasonable strategic decision [for defense counsel] was to ask [the court] for one day less.”
- There were 14 criminal case grant-and-holds: six more holding for a decision in People v. Lewis (see here), four more holding for People v. Lopez (see here), two more holding for People v. Raybon (see here), one more holding for People v. Tirado (see here), and one holding for People v. Hernandez (see here).
- The court shed three grant-and-holds, which were all waiting for the court’s December decision in People v. Gentile. (See here and here.)