The Sacramento Bee reports:
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key aspect of California’s sentencing law is causing widespread confusion in the state’s criminal courts, and an extraordinary rape case in Sacramento may be the first case statewide to struggle with its effects.
In Los Angeles County’s massive court system, judges are “still trying to figure out what this all means,” said court spokesman Allan Parachini. Until then, he said, “Every judge can act on their own.”
Parachini said he wasn’t aware of any cases in Los Angeles where jurors had been asked to decide factors that could impose a higher sentence.
The Cunningham case came down on the first day of a trial I did last month. Before the day was out, we had arraigned the defendants on an amended information alleging several aggravating factors under the California Rules of Court. The new procedure caused some delays in preparation of the verdict forms, but the jury appeared to have little trouble with the additional allegations, and rendered a verdict, along with findings on those allegations, last month.
My case can’t possibly be the only case where this happened in California besides the case described in the article.
Yet another case where the blogs bring you better information than the newspapers.