Three Strikes

California Death Penalty Senate Bill Rejected SB779

Thankfully, reason has prevailed in the state of California and a bill backed by the California District Attorneys Association (SB779) and written by Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine; San Diego County) that would have shortened death penalty appeals and reinstated the gas chamber as a means of capital punishment.  The bill was defeated at the Public Safety Committee stage with a 5-2 vote.  The authoring of this bill seems to be a reaction to the November 2012 ballot measure to repeal the death penalty in California altogether – which experienced a narrow defeat. SB779 would have seriously limited the number of appeals...

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“Protected Person” California clause Leads to Elevated Aggravated Battery Charge in San Bruno (CA Penal Code, §243(b) & §243(c)(2))

Many of us remember the natural gas explosion that killed 8 people and ravaged 38 homes in San Bruno in September of 2010.  What many people may not know is that when a motorcyclist, 36-year-old Paul Lee, drove down to see the spectacle, he would be arrested on 3 felony counts: battery of an officer, assault on an officer, and evading the police (CA Penal Code §243(b) & §243(c)(2)). It seems that local law enforcement officials who asked them what they were doing at the site, and for some identification, stopped Lee and his girlfriend.  When Lee began to drive away,...

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Knowledgeable Attorneys and Judge required to handle Molestation jury trial (CA Penal Code §11165.1(A))

We all know that the justice system doesn’t always work the way that it should. The work of Project Innocence has proved this to be true – juries don’t always understand their instructions or the evidence before them.  But in the case of Valentin Carbajal, a man accused of molesting both his stepdaughter and daughter, CA Penal Code 11165.1(A), it was the judge who made a bad matter worse.  In 2007, Carbajal was tried on 3 counts of molestation concerning his stepdaughter. The jury involved was asked to determine whether he was also guilty of 9 other charges concerning his actual...

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