Violent Crimes

VIOLATIONS OF CALIFORNIA LAW PREVENTS NEW EXECUTION RULES

Officials in the California system who have authored a bid for new rules on execution, including using a different method than most states in the U.S., have evidently not bothered to “do their homework” when it comes to state laws on the subject.  The need for a change in the system and methods of execution is simply unnecessary and, for many citizens, unreasonable.  There is, to be sure, a long and hotly debated history of capital punishment in the state of California. Before the 1972 case, People v. Anderson, there were 709 executions carried out in California, beginning in 1778 when...

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ARREST RESULTS ON SUSPICION OF DUI DOWN FROM LAST MEMORIAL WEEKEND (CA Penal Code §23152)

Memorial Day weekend is a time for barbeques, spending time with family and friends, and taking time out of our busy schedules in order to remember those who have fought for our country.  The California Highway Patrol, however, looks at it as a time of increased arrests for DUI (CA Penal Code §23152), as numbers for this type of arrest usually go up around holidays such as this.  However, despite one crash in San Mateo County at a Hillside Boulevard cemetery that ended the lives of three people, DUI arrests were down this year.  Of course, the number only went...

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24-YEAR OLD MADERA COUNTY MURDER CASE REMAINS UNRESOLVED (CA Penal Code §187)

In 1989, then 20-year-old Michael Pizarro became famous – for all the wrong reasons.  He was accused, and then convicted, of sexually assaulting and then murdering (CA Penal Code §187) his 13-year-old half-sister, Amber Barfield.  24 years later, no one can be sure whether or not Pizarro did it. On the one hand, there is a good bit of circumstantial evidence to link him to the crime and, on the other hand, there’s no real proof to be spoken of in the case.  The latest issue, in Pizarro’s third trial on the matter, is the fact that a juror used...

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ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE RESULTS IN 2 DAYS IN JAIL FOR UC BERKELEY LAW GRAD (CA Penal Code §597)

When 26-year-old Hazhir Kargaran went on a trip to Las Vegas with a few of his UC Berkeley law school pals, he may never have imagined it landing him in jail.  We’ve all seen movies like “The Hangover,” in which several friends get into strange situations while on vacation in the city that advertises itself as a place where “what happens” there “stays there.”  However, this was not the case for Kargaran, who has been convicted of participating in beheading an exotic bird that lived in the Flamingo Hotel’s wildlife habitat.  He and two of his buddies had evidently been...

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CALIFORNIA LOWER COURTS VIOLATE 4th AMENDMENT RIGHTS IN LA

The United States Constitution protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure.  Part of what is known as the Bill of Rights, this amendment is meant to prevent law enforcement or government officials from fabricating evidence, planting evidence, or illegally obtaining evidence for later use against suspects in various crimes.  The 4th Amendment is also part and parcel of a balancing of governmental power with individual rights.In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld these 4th Amendment rights, maintaining that, in non-emergent situations, police cannot enter an individual’s home without a warrant without permission.  Lower courts in California have, however, ruled that...

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Santa Rosa Dog Owner Loses Appeal in Pet Attack Case (CA Penal Code §399)

Armando Flores of Santa Rosa found himself in a bit of a pickle after a state appeals court upheld his conviction pursuant to CA Penal Code §399 (failure to control a “mischievous” pet by using “ordinary care”).  The original incident occurred in December of 2011, when Flores’s pit bull “Blue” somehow got loose from the chain he was attached to in the owner’s front yard.  A nearly 90-year-old man, Flores’s neighbor, was evidently in his own yard that day with his black lab, which Blue promptly went after.  The elderly man proceeded to hit Blue with his cane, causing the...

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Valley Springs: 12-year-old Arrest in Leila Fowler Murder (CA Penal Code §187(a))

When Leila Fowler (8) was found stabbed to death in the kitchen of her family’s ranch style home, it was her brother (12) who seemed most upset.  Now, the young boy has been arrested in connection with the case pursuant to CA Penal Code §187(a), even though there seems to be little evidence to support this.  By all accounts, including the testimony of the children’s mother, the Calaveras County Sherriff’s Department is grasping at straws.  The boy’s original testimony was that a strange man with silver hair had broken into the home, killed Fowler, and run – that his sister...

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Defense Attorneys Now Better Positioned to Assist Clients

The state of California has learned a bit of a lesson from history.  Recently, a Second District Court of Appeals decision has strengthened the defense attorney-client relationship by making it almost as airtight as a therapist’s relationship with their patient.  It could be argued that this debate has been ongoing – at least since the 1974 and 1976 Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California I & II.  In what came to be known as the “Tarasoff Case,” a fellow student from India – Prosenjit Poddar, murdered a young woman by the name of Tatiana Tarasoff.  Although Tarasoff had...

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Danger of False Allegations in California (CA Penal Code §182(2))

Even though a guilty verdict has been returned in the killing of Travis Alexander (formerly of Riverside, CA), many of us wonder about Jodi Arias’s (formerly of Salinas, CA) claims of self-defense against Alexander.  Arias still maintains, for example, that Alexander was abusive toward her, causing, in the end, his own death at her hand – by multiple stab wounds, a gunshot to the head, and a slit throat.  So convincing was the defendant, however, that while awaiting verdict, Arias sold t-shirts online that read, “Survivor” in order to raise money for domestic violence awareness.CA Penal Code §273.5 (Corporeal Injury to...

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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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