Supreme Court of California Justia
Citation 43 Cal.4th 1 original opinion

People v. Wilson

Filed 3/27/08



IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA



THE PEOPLE,

Plaintiff and Respondent,

S070327

v.

ANDRE GERALD WILSON,

Los Angeles County

Defendant and Appellant.

Super. Ct. No. NA029224



A jury convicted defendant Andre Gerald Wilson of the first degree murder

and attempted robbery of Sary San, and found the robbery-murder special

circumstance allegation to be true. (Pen. Code,1 §§ 187, subd. (a), 664, 211,

190.2, subd. (a)(17).) It also found true the allegation that defendant personally

used a firearm, i.e., a handgun, in committing these offenses. (§§ 1203.06, subd.

(a)(1), 12022.5, subd. (a).) After the penalty phase, the jury returned a verdict of

death.

The trial court denied defendant’s motions for new guilt and penalty phase

trials (§ 1181), along with his automatic application for modification of the verdict

(§ 190.4, subd. (e)), and sentenced him to death. This appeal is automatic. (Cal.

Const., art. VI, § 11; § 1239, subd. (b).)

For reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment.


1

Further statutory references are to the Penal Code unless otherwise noted.


I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. Guilt Phase

1. Overview

On July 25, 1996, her first day as cashier at Seng Heng Market, victim Sary

San was shot and killed during an attempted robbery. The fatal shooting was

captured by the market’s surveillance cameras, which recorded both picture and

sound. While the videotape did not conclusively establish defendant as the

gunman, prosecution witness Shanta Sadewater testified that that day she drove

defendant to Seng Heng Market, which she claimed defendant had planned to

rob.2 The videotape revealed that before San had a chance to open the cash

register, the suspect shot her in the back of the head at pointblank range. The

defense position, supported by defendant’s own testimony, was that defendant was

not the gunman, and that Sadewater was involved in the crime. The defense

suggested that the gunman was Sadewater’s boyfriend, Jacoby Alexander, who

died shortly after the crime.

2. Prosecution

Evidence

Sadewater recounted the facts leading up to the crime. On July 25, 1996,

the day of the fatal shooting, defendant accompanied Sadewater and her friend,

Rene Grant, to a blood bank where Sadewater and Grant gave blood. Defendant


2

Initially charged as a codefendant, Sadewater was prosecuted for first

degree murder with a special circumstance and attempted robbery, and faced a
sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for her role in these
events. In a separate trial, which occurred before defendant’s, a jury convicted
Sadewater of being an accessory after the fact and attempted robbery, but
acquitted her of murder. Although the trial judge was inclined to sentence her to
the midterm of two years, the same deputy district attorney prosecuting defendant
convinced the judge to sentence Sadewater to the maximum term of three years.

2

was wearing a green long-sleeved shirt and a floppy fisherman-style hat. On the

way to the blood bank, Sadewater returned to defendant a loaded four-barrel

handgun, which he had given her about a week before to clean. Defendant told

Sadewater that he and a friend named “Twin” planned to rob a drug dealer named

Reggie. Defendant placed the gun in the waistband of his pants.

After giving blood, Grant dropped off Sadewater and defendant at the home

of Casana Walker, Sadewater’s friend and neighbor, so that Sadewater could

borrow Walker’s car, a blue Oldsmobile Firenza. Sadewater had agreed to give

defendant a ride to meet Twin. While defendant waited for a page from Twin,

Sadewater and defendant drove around Long Beach for several hours, during

which time they stopped at Seng Heng Market. Sadewater went in and asked if

they sold a particular type of cigarettes. When she returned to the car, defendant

asked her if she would “hit that store,” which she took to mean, rob the store. She

said she would not. Sadewater and defendant left and continued to drive around.

Shortly before 5:00 p.m., Sadewater and defendant returned to the vicinity of Seng

Heng Market. Defendant asked Sadewater to pull over because he was “going to

go check for himself,” which meant he wanted to see if it was a good place to rob.

The market’s security guard, David Repp, testified about the events in the

market, though he was unable to identify the gunman. Repp testified that the

suspect came into the market, grabbed a soda from the cooler, and walked up to

the register. San, who had begun her first day of work at the market, was at the

cash register. The videotape revealed that the suspect pulled the handgun from his

waistband, reached over the counter and pointed it at San’s head. He demanded,

“Open the register.” As San leaned back, the suspect walked around the counter

with the gun pointed at San’s head and repeatedly demanded that she open the

register. Standing right behind her, the gunman again demanded that she “open

it.” Before San was able to open the register, the suspect pushed her towards the

3

counter and tried unsuccessfully to open the register himself. The suspect dragged

San by the hair and pushed her head onto the counter. After looking around the

market, he fired into the back of San’s head and ran off. San fell and hit her head

on the floor, where she remained motionless. Blood was splattered on the white

counter and on the floor by her head. San died from a single gunshot wound to the

head. Most of her skull had been blown away by the gunshot at pointblank range.

Repp testified that as the gunman ran out of the market, the gunman’s hat

fell off. Repp, who had his gun drawn during the shooting, pursued him. As the

gunman got into passenger side of the blue Oldsmobile, he shot twice at Repp.

Repp returned fire with 12 shots, one of which went through the windshield;

several hit the side of the car. The gunman fled the scene in the car. Repp

testified he was “positive” that the man he saw shoot San was the same one getting

into the car.

Sadewater testified that she was waiting for defendant, with the car engine

running. After gunshots hit the car, she tried to move it while defendant was

getting in. Sadewater told him she did not think it was a good idea to rob the

market. Defendant said he had shot someone, whom Sadewater believed to be the

security guard. Sadewater continued driving and eventually arrived near the

Wardlow train station in Long Beach when the car stalled. After moving the car

into an empty parking space, they abandoned it. Defendant told Sadewater to

gather the items he left in the car — the gun, box of ammunition, rubber gloves he

wore, and stocking he had put over his head — which she placed in her purse.

The duo took a train to the home of defendant’s father, John Wilson, where

defendant shaved and changed out of his green shirt. Defendant and Sadewater

left John Wilson’s place and walked to Sadewater’s apartment. Defendant stayed

at Sadewater’s apartment for a few hours and returned to his apartment.

4

That day, Walker called Sadewater several times about her car. Based on a

previously agreed-upon story with defendant, Sadewater lied to Walker, telling her

that a “group of Mexicans” shot up Walker’s car. In a subsequent telephone

conversation with defendant, Sadewater told him Walker was going to report her

car stolen, at which point he told her to “go and wipe the car down” to get rid of

any fingerprints. Sadewater went back to the car and cleaned the car with oil from

her gun kit. When Sadewater returned and called Walker, she found out Walker

had gone to the police department.

In the early morning of July 26, the day after the murder, police arrested

Sadewater at her apartment. Detective Roy Hamand interviewed her at the police

station. When Detective Hamand told Sadewater she was going to be charged

with aiding and abetting a murder, she thought the police were lying because she

believed the shooting victim was the security guard, whom she saw standing when

they fled. She lied, stating that Mexicans shot at defendant and her and their car.

After Detective Hamand told her that a cashier had been shot in the head after she

could not open the cash register, Sadewater told them what actually happened. In

a recorded conversation, she told police everything she remembered.

Sadewater helped police retrieve the gun used in the shooting and directed

them to a dumpster where she had disposed of the bullet casings, box of

ammunition, rubber gloves, and stocking. She also took police to defendant’s

father’s house, where they recovered the green shirt the suspect wore during the

murder. The hat the suspect wore and dropped at the murder scene was also later

recovered. Defendant’s thumbprint was found on a plastic bullet holder contained

in the box of ammunition. Several witnesses identified the green shirt as the one

the suspect wore, defendant acknowledged that the green shirt and hat once

belonged to him, and security guard Repp recognized the hat.

5

Defendant fled to Oakland after the killing. Over five months later, on

January 13, 1997, a multi-agency fugitive task force located defendant in the attic

of an Oakland home. Defendant initially refused to surrender. When he was

eventually arrested, defendant was armed with two shank-type knives with six- to

eight-inch-long metal blades. Defendant first gave officers a false name, but

eventually admitted his identity and said that he was aware he was wanted in

connection with a Long Beach murder.

3. Defense

Evidence

Sothanary Som, an owner of Seng Heng Market, testified that shortly

before 5:00 p.m. on the day of the murder, a man rode up to the market on a

bicycle. He first asked for cigarettes and then walked to the cooler and grabbed a

drink. As he walked up to the cashier, Som saw the man remove a gun from his

pocket, at which point she hid behind a box. She heard the assailant demand of

the cashier, “Open the register. Give me the money.” Although she did not see

the shooting or the assailant’s face, Som believed the man on the bicycle was the

same one who fatally shot San. She described the man as wearing blue jeans and

black clothing, which was inconsistent with other descriptions of the assailant.

Several days after the crime occurred, Som gave detectives a written statement

indicating she was “70 percent sure” that she identified the correct assailant in the

photographic lineup they showed her. Som admitted that by the time of trial, she

had only a vague recollection of what had happened that day.

Defendant testified on his own behalf. Refuting much of Sadewater’s

version of the day’s events, defendant denied entering Seng Heng Market, denied

trying to rob the market, and denied shooting San. Instead, he gave an account of

the day’s events, suggesting Sadewater’s boyfriend, Jacoby Alexander, fatally shot

San.

6

According to defendant, that morning he gave Sadewater and Alexander a

bag of clothes, which included the green long-sleeved shirt and hat worn by the

murderer. He gave the clothes away because they no longer fit him. In the

afternoon, defendant accompanied Sadewater and her friend, Rene Grant, to the

blood bank, where Alexander later met them wearing the green shirt defendant had

given away that morning.

Sadewater told defendant that she, Alexander, and Alexander’s friend were

going to rob someone, and asked if defendant wanted to participate. Defendant

said no and took a bus to go home. He later saw the group near the Wardlow

station, where they “looked kind of hysterical, like they was on some drugs.”

Shortly thereafter, Sadewater returned the green shirt to defendant because she no

longer needed it. After Sadewater left, defendant, who was not wearing a shirt,

put on that green shirt and left for his father’s house. As he walked, defendant met

Sadewater again. She said, “That’s the shirt that the Mexicans was shooting at

us.” Defendant “felt fear” based on what Sadewater told him, and changed into

another shirt when he got to his father’s house.

When questioned about Twin on the witness stand, defendant denied

knowing any “twins” and also denied knowing someone named Reggie, the person

whom Sadewater testified defendant and Twin were going to rob. Defendant also

denied possessing the handgun Sadewater testified she had returned to him on the

day of the murder. Defendant claimed he saw the murder weapon at Sadewater’s

house and admitted touching the bullet holder and bullets one week before the

murder. Two days after the murder, defendant fled to Oakland because he “didn’t

want to be mixed up in any type of gang violence.” He said he also left because

Sadewater was going to blame him for what happened to Walker’s car. When he

arrived in Oakland, defendant called his grandmother to tell her he was going to

move out, so she did not have to pay rent on his apartment, which she often did.

7

About a week after the murder, defendant learned he was featured on the

television show, America’s Most Wanted. He did not turn himself in, however,

because he believed officers had a warrant authorizing them to “shoot to kill.” He

was afraid officers would shoot him before allowing him to tell his side of the

story.

4. Rebuttal

Evidence

In rebuttal, prosecution witness Detective Hamand testified that, to his

knowledge, there is no such thing as a “shoot to kill” warrant in the United States.

He explained that Alexander, who had been in police custody, was later released

based on information he received from Sadewater and on his own determination

that Alexander was not the male suspect captured on the surveillance videotape.

Unlike the suspect on the videotape, who was thin, Alexander was “buff” and had

a wide neck. Detective Parine Soth testified they detained Alexander, along with

Sadewater, because they did not know Alexander’s identity and did not know if he

was involved in the murder.

B. Penalty

Phase

1. Prosecution

Evidence

The prosecution presented victim impact evidence through the testimony of

San’s mother, San’s husband, and their oldest child. Say Prak, San’s mother,

testified first about San’s family background. San was the third of 11 children

born to Prak and her husband. San met her husband, Nay Meas, in Cambodia.

After the two families moved to a refugee camp in Thailand, where they resided

for several years, they moved first to Arkansas, then to Alabama, and later to Long

Beach in 1988.

San and Meas had seven children. Meas testified he was “shocked” and

“scared” at the news of San’s death. Although he followed the ambulance to the

8

hospital, she had died by the time he arrived. San worked while Meas took care of

the children and took them to school. Meas told the children individually of their

mother’s death, with the oldest ones taking the news the hardest. He had trouble

describing how he felt about San’s death except to say he felt “very lost right

now.”

San’s eldest child, daughter Synath Meas, spoke last. San’s death was very

hard on Synath, who was now responsible for watching her younger siblings and

had assumed her mother’s role. After Synath was too overcome with emotion to

read a letter she had written to her mother, a victims’ witness advocate read the

letter to the jury. A home video of San with her children at a birthday party was

played for the jury.

2. Defense

Evidence

Defendant’s maternal grandmother, Barbara Wolfe, testified about

defendant’s upbringing. Defendant’s father, John Wilson, had been physically

abusive to defendant’s mother, Vickie Nicholson, who eventually moved out with

her three sons and lived with Wolfe for a year. From that point, Wilson was an

absentee father and had no contact with defendant or his two younger brothers. In

the seventh grade, defendant moved in with Wolfe, who learned that he suffered

from a reading disability. Defendant returned to live with his mother and her

fiancé during high school. His mother’s fiancé was physically abusive to her, on

one occasion holding a gun to her head and on another breaking her nose. In

1990, he stabbed Vickie to death, and defendant and his two brothers were found

standing over her body.

After his mother’s death, defendant apparently converted to Islam and

stayed with his Muslim friends. He was quiet, and spent his time studying and

reading. Defendant’s two brothers frequently got in trouble after their mother’s

9

death. At the time of defendant’s penalty trial, both were in prison. Wolfe also

testified that when she was diagnosed with cancer, defendant often visited her and

“was there for” her, unlike her other grandchildren.

Defendant had three children, one boy and two girls, by three different

women. The oldest was five years old and the youngest was almost two.

Defendant’s aunt, Marcelyn Lloyd, testified that defendant was attentive to his

children and never “whooped” them, though Lloyd believed defendant’s mother

had been somewhat abusive to defendant and his brothers. Lloyd’s son, Duane

Nicholson, who was defendant’s classmate, testified that defendant has “always

been there for me. . . . [H]e’s two years older than me, so he’s always been my

protector because I wasn’t streetwise.”

Members of a nonprofit art studio, where defendant participated in a

program for at-risk youth, testified he was good with children. The art director,

Dr. Akinsanya Kambon, testified defendant was an “asset” to the program and

possessed “very good” artistic skills. After his mother’s death, defendant began

drawing a mural of a house with an open door and blood inside, but did not

complete it. The executive director, Tamasha Ross, was impressed by defendant’s

artistic skill, dedication to the program, and his attentiveness as a young father.

Psychologist Dr. Harry Taylor testified on defendant’s behalf. Dr. Taylor,

who spent a total of 10 hours with defendant, administered a battery of tests to

him. Dr. Taylor also reviewed an approximately two-inch stack of police reports

and background information on defendant.

Dr. Taylor opined that defendant suffered from dysthymia, which he

described as a “depressive demeanor, depressive attitude.” While defendant’s

depression was not “incapacitating” or “impairing,” it had existed for a period of

time. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 test revealed

defendant’s lack of confidence, his feelings of failure, interpersonal difficulties,

10

irritability, negativity and poor judgment. Dr. Taylor believed defendant had a

“character disorder with anti-social traits . . . [and] schizoid features.” Although

defendant often withdrew from people, he was “not an individual who has

psychotic-like proclivities or tendencies, he is not out of touch with reality.”

Defendant was not schizophrenic. He had a history of substance abuse, which

included cocaine, marijuana and alcohol.

Based on defendant’s family background, i.e., losing his mother, having

children by different women, not having his father in his life, Dr. Taylor opined

that defendant possessed “a whole reservoir of anger that is repressed.” Dr. Taylor

made “a reasonable assumption from the dynamic point of view that the once

victim is now moving toward the perpetrator role and the cycle of violence is

occurring.” Defendant told Dr. Taylor his father physically abused his mother,

although defendant did not specifically recall the domestic abuse. Without the

support of his parents, defendant suffered from low self-esteem.

As for defendant’s academic abilities, Dr. Taylor testified that defendant’s

IQ was 83, which is in the low-average range, and that he suffered from a learning

disability in the areas of reading and spelling. Defendant, however, was able to

learn new material at an average level and had an average ability to size up a

social situation. During elementary school, defendant was not considered a

behavioral problem, though he did have academic difficulties. In junior high,

defendant did satisfactorily in school. Defendant’s problems with the law began

in high school when he was about 16 years old. Dr. Taylor suspected defendant

had gang affiliations based on the area in which he lived, but he did not believe

defendant was “entrenched” in gang life.

On cross-examination, Dr. Taylor testified that in his 20-page report on this

case, he wrote the following: “As the defendant talked about the instant offense,

his candor was questionable.” His report also revealed that defendant’s profile

11

“suggests that the individual has a preference for action and is inclined to act out.”

He also reported that defendant denied any past psychological trauma or child

abuse. However, defendant had told a defense investigator that someone had

attempted to molest him, but he had been able to “fight the guy off.”

When Dr. Taylor viewed the videotape of the murder in court, he affirmed

that the crime was the kind of “acting out” he described in his written report.

However, when the prosecutor asked Dr. Taylor if defendant’s day-long planning

to commit a robbery reflected an impulsive act, he replied: “In that particular

situation, that type of planning is not impulsive.”

II. DISCUSSION

A. Pretrial Phase — Denial of Challenges for Cause

During jury selection, defendant challenged for cause two prospective

jurors because their statements assertedly revealed a bias in favor of the death

penalty. After the trial court denied these challenges, defendant exercised two

peremptory challenges against these prospective jurors when they were called as

prospective alternates. Defendant exhausted his peremptory challenges during the

selection of alternate jurors, but did not object to the final composition of the jury.

On appeal, he claims that he was compelled to use his peremptory challenges on

two prospective jurors who should have been dismissed for cause, which

effectively gave the prosecution two additional peremptory challenges. Defendant

asserts the trial court’s actions “artificially created a death prone jury,” which

violated his due process rights and undermined the reliability of the verdict. (U.S.

Const., 6th, 8th & 14th Amends.; Cal. Const., art. I, §§ 7, 15.)3


3

As to this and nearly every claim on appeal, defendant asserts the alleged

error violated his constitutional rights. At trial, he failed to raise some or all of the
constitutional arguments he now advances. “In each instance, unless otherwise

(Footnote continued on next page.)

12

Defendant’s claim based on the trial court’s denial of his challenges for

cause is not cognizable on appeal. (See People v. Beames (2007) 40 Cal.4th 907,

924; see also People v. Avila (2006) 38 Cal.4th 491, 539.) Here, although

exhausting his peremptory challenges to remove the two jurors in question,

defendant did not object to the jury as finally constituted; thus, he has forfeited the

claim. Moreover, contrary to his contention, the loss of peremptory challenges

does not implicate his constitutional right to an impartial jury. (See Ross v.

Oklahoma (1988) 487 U.S. 81, 88; People v. Avila, supra, 38 Cal.4th at p. 540;

see also People v. Boyette (2002) 29 Cal.4th 381, 419.)4


(Footnote continued from previous page.)

indicated, it appears that either (1) the appellate claim is of a kind (e.g., failure to
instruct sua sponte; erroneous instruction affecting defendant’s substantial rights)
that required no trial court action by the defendant to preserve it, or (2) the new
arguments do not invoke facts or legal standards different from those the trial
court itself was asked to apply, but merely assert that the trial court’s act or
omission, insofar as wrong for the reasons actually presented to that court, had the
additional legal consequence of violating the Constitution. To that extent,
defendant’s new constitutional arguments are not forfeited on appeal. [Citations.]
[¶] In the latter instance, of course, rejection, on the merits, of a claim that the trial
court erred on the issue actually before that court necessarily leads to rejection of
the newly applied constitutional ‘gloss’ as well. No separate constitutional
discussion is required in such cases, and we therefore provide none.” (People v.
Boyer (2006) 38 Cal.4th 412, 441, fn. 17.)

4

Defendant asserts that because he was forced to use his peremptory

challenges on these two jurors, he could not challenge an alternate juror, Juror No.
0046, who was eventually seated following the dismissal of a seated juror. In
expressing concerns about the juror’s views, defendant claims “[t]here is nothing
in the record to indicate that [defendant] was satisfied with” the alternate juror.
This is not enough. “To the extent defendant now suggests he was unhappy with
the composition of the jury, his ‘belated recitation of dissatisfaction with the jury
is speculative. Consequently, he fails to demonstrate that he was harmed by the
denial of his challenges for cause.’ [Citation.]” (People v. Boyette, supra, 29
Cal.4th at p. 419.)

13

In any event, we find no error. A trial court may excuse for cause a juror

whose views on the death penalty “would ‘prevent or substantially impair the

performance of his duties as a juror in accordance with his instructions and his

oath.’ ” (Wainwright v. Witt (1985) 469 U.S. 412, 424; People v. Hoyos (2007) 41

Cal.4th 872, 905.) “The trial court’s determination of the juror’s state of mind is

binding on appeal if the juror’s statements are equivocal or conflicting. If the

juror’s statements are not inconsistent, we will uphold the court’s ruling if it is

supported by substantial evidence. [Citation.]” (People v. Harrison (2005) 35

Cal.4th 208, 227.)

On her juror questionnaire, Prospective Juror No. 3131 answered she was

“strongly in favor” of the death penalty: “I believe that if a person willfully

murders someone (and it isn’t self-defense) that person should receive the death

penalty if convicted.” She added: “It is the ultimate pay back for their crime. If

they take a life, they must give their own.” However, several of her written

responses indicated she would need to know “all the circumstances” before she

could strongly agree that someone should receive the death penalty; she would not

automatically vote for death in every case regardless of the evidence. During voir

dire, Prospective Juror No. 3131 confirmed several of her questionnaire responses,

including her statement that a defendant who kills someone during a robbery

should receive only the death penalty. She qualified that she “would really have to

hear everything first. That is a general statement. I think there’s — you know,

everything has circumstances, but generally that’s how I feel.” She affirmed her

understanding that “the aggravating circumstances would outweigh the mitigating

circumstances,” in order to impose the death penalty. She repeatedly stated that

her decision on the death penalty would depend on the particular circumstances of

the case, and also revealed she would be open-minded about voting for a sentence

of life without parole. In denying defendant’s challenge for cause, the trial court

14

found that while this prospective juror “appears to strongly favor the death

penalty, . . . she also appears to be open to consideration of life without the

possibility of parole.” The court noted the juror also “indicated that she would

carefully weigh and consider factors in aggravation and mitigation,” and that the

robbery-murder circumstance would not be the only factor she would consider.

During voir dire, Prospective Juror No. 4215 reaffirmed his questionnaire

statement that he was “strongly in favor of the death penalty.” However, he

indicated he would not automatically vote for the death penalty in every case

regardless of the evidence. He “strongly agree[d]” that a defendant who kills

during the course of a robbery should receive the death penalty; however, he

indicated he would listen to all the evidence and to what other jurors had to say

about the punishment. Prospective Juror No. 4215 also revealed his disdain for

defense attorneys, who “don’t care about justice or right or wrong or victims,” but

claimed he could put aside any bias. The trial court denied defendant’s challenge

for cause based on the following: Despite this juror’s disdain for defense

attorneys, he and other jurors in an unrelated case acquitted the defendant based

on the evidence; the juror indicated he would listen to and base his decision on the

evidence, including aggravating and mitigating factors; although he did not

foresee himself as a holdout juror against the death penalty, he would be willing to

change his mind if other jurors were to persuade him to prevent a hung jury.

Based on our review of the record, we conclude that the statements of these

two prospective jurors were not inconsistent and that the trial court’s

determination of the jurors’ states of mind is supported by substantial evidence.

(See People v. Harrison, supra, 35 Cal.4th at p. 227.) While both prospective

jurors strongly favored the death penalty, both consistently stated that they would

not automatically vote for death in every case but would consider all the evidence

(including aggravating and mitigating circumstances), and would base their

15

penalty decision on the particular facts of the case. Both prospective jurors also

indicated they were open to voting for a sentence of life without the possibility of

parole.

B. Guilt

Phase

1. Failure to Instruct on Lesser Included Offenses

The trial court instructed the jury on murder, first degree felony murder and

robbery-murder special circumstance. (CALJIC Nos. 8.10, 8.21, 8.81.17.) It did

not instruct on second degree murder or first degree premeditated murder; the

parties agreed the court need not do so. On appeal, defendant contends the trial

court erred in failing to instruct on lesser included offenses, in violation of his

rights under the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United

States Constitution.

As the Attorney General concedes, defendant’s agreement that the court

need not instruct on second degree murder or first degree premeditated murder

was not invited error because defense counsel did not “express[] a deliberate

tactical purpose in resisting or acceding to the complained-of instruction.”

(People v. Valdez (2004) 32 Cal.4th 73, 115.) In any event, we conclude the trial

court made no instructional error because, on these facts, it was not obligated to

instruct on second degree murder as a lesser included offense.5

A trial court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on a lesser included offense if

the evidence raises a question as to whether the elements of the charged offense

are present, but not if there is no evidence that the offense was less than charged.


5

We have concluded that first degree premeditated murder is not a lesser

included offense of first degree felony murder, but have left open the question as
to second degree murder. (People v. Valdez, supra, 32 Cal.4th at pp. 114-115, fn.
17.)

16

(People v. Valdez, supra, 32 Cal.4th at p. 115; see id., at pp. 140-141 (dis. opn. of

Chin, J.).) In this case, the defense argued that defendant was not the gunman. If

he was not, he was guilty of no crime. However, as relevant to this claim, the

evidence conclusively established that whoever the gunman was, he was guilty of

first degree murder under the special circumstance of robbery murder.

The crime here was videotaped on the market’s surveillance cameras. As

defense counsel conceded in closing argument, the videotapes showed the gunman

robbing the market and fatally shooting San in the course of the attempted

robbery. The evidence permits no other conclusion. Indeed, the attempted

robbery and shooting together took no more than 12 seconds. There was no

substantial evidence, that is, evidence that a reasonable jury would find persuasive

(People v. Valdez, supra, 32 Cal.4th at p. 116), that the gunman was guilty of a

crime less than first degree felony murder. Defendant argues, however, that the

jury reasonably could have concluded that the gunman fatally shot the victim but

had a reasonable doubt that he killed her “for the purpose of robbing her.” Even if

true, it does not matter. The jury did not have to find that defendant killed San for

the purpose of robbery: “The prosecution only needed to prove that the victim

was killed during the course of a robbery — accidentally or otherwise.” (People

v. Valdez, supra, 32 Cal.4th at p. 116, fn. 19.) Moreover, as relevant here, “[a]

robbery is not complete until the perpetrator reaches a place of temporary safety,”

which is not the scene of the robbery. (People v. Young (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1149,

1177.) The gunman here obviously had not reached a place of temporary safety

when he killed San on the spot.

Defendant points to the verdict in Sadewater’s trial, which, he argues,

suggests that “Sadewater’s jury believed the attempted robbery was a separate

17

crime — for which the jury held Sadewater responsible under a theory of aiding

and abetting — from the killing, of which Sadewater was found not guilty.”6 But

whatever the jury might have thought in that trial, it is not evidence in this case.

(See People v. Palmer (2001) 24 Cal.4th 856, 858 [“If substantial evidence

supports a jury verdict as to one defendant, that verdict may stand despite an

apparently inconsistent verdict as to another defendant”].) Defendant also notes

that the prosecution argued to the jury that the killing was “in cold blood” and

execution style, suggesting it was premeditated or perhaps second degree malice

murder rather than first degree felony murder. These two concepts, however, are

not mutually exclusive. The killing may well have been premeditated, and it most

certainly was done with malice. But whether or not the killing was premeditated

or malicious, the evidence permitted no conclusion other than that it was

committed during the course of a robbery, which makes the crime first degree

felony murder. Thus, a lesser included offense instruction on second degree

murder was not warranted.

Moreover, the failure to instruct on any lesser included offense did not

violate defendant’s constitutional rights as construed in Beck v. Alabama (1980)
447 U.S. 625. (People v. Prince (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1179, 1269; People v. Waidla

(2000) 22 Cal.4th 690, 736, fn. 15.) First, “Beck v. Alabama, supra, 447 U.S. 625,


6

As further support for this argument, defendant contends that the robbery

and murder were “separate acts” pursuant to People v. Sandoval (1994) 30
Cal.App.4th 1288, 1299, and related cases. However, as the Attorney General
correctly points out, Sandoval is inapposite because it dealt with what constitutes
“separate acts” for purposes of sentencing under section 654. The “separate acts”
inquiry is not central to the felony-murder rule. (See People v. Nguyen (1988) 204
Cal.App.3d 181, 193 [murder and robbery may be separate acts for purposes of §
654, “notwithstanding that for purposes of the felony-murder rule the robbery is
still considered to be ongoing”].)

18

and its progeny do not require that a court instruct upon a lesser included offense

as to which substantial evidence is lacking.” (People v. Prince, supra, 40 Cal.4th

at p. 1269.) Second, the principle of Beck is not implicated in this case because

unlike in Beck, the jury here was not forced to decide between capital murder and

innocence. In other words, even if the jury found defendant guilty of first degree

murder on the theory of felony-murder robbery under the felony-murder-robbery

special circumstance, “it was not legally compelled to fix the penalty at death, but

could fix it instead at a term of imprisonment for life without possibility of

parole.” (People v. Waidla, supra, 22 Cal.4th at p. 736, fn. 15.)

Finally, defendant adds that a “truncated” and incomplete version of the

robbery-murder special-circumstance instruction (CALJIC No. 8.81.17) — which

did not contain the optional second paragraph — exacerbated any prejudice from

the failure to give a second degree murder instruction. (See People v. Valdez,

supra, 32 Cal.4th at p. 146 (dis. opn. of Chin, J.).) Not so. The trial court has no

duty to instruct with this second paragraph where there is no evidence supporting

“an inference that the defendant might have intended to murder the victim without

having an independent intent to commit the specified felony.” (People v.

Monterroso (2004) 34 Cal.4th 743, 767.) No evidence suggested that defendant

here had an independent intent apart from committing the robbery. (Cf. People v.

Valdez, supra, 32 Cal.4th at p. 144 (dis. opn. of Chin, J.) [evidence suggested

defendant and the victim knew each other, which may have “presented other

possible motives”].)

2. Instructions

Regarding

Shanta Sadewater’s Testimony

Claiming that the “prosecution’s case rose and fell on” Sadewater’s

testimony, defendant argues that the trial court’s use of CALJIC No. 2.13 and its

failure to give CALJIC No. 2.71.7 denied him his right to due process and his

19

right against the arbitrary imposition of the death penalty. (U.S. Const., 5th, 8th &

14th Amends.)

At this trial, Sadewater testified at the guilt phase as follows. She first

claimed no knowledge or responsibility for the fatal shooting at Seng Heng

Market, but later admitted to police her involvement. On the day of the shooting,

while Sadewater and defendant were driving around, defendant told her he was

waiting to hear from a friend named Twin, with whom he was going to rob a drug

dealer named Reggie. Sadewater stopped at the Seng Heng Market to buy

cigarettes, and when she returned to the car, defendant asked Sadewater if she was

willing to “hit that store,” which she took to mean, rob the market. She replied she

would not. On their way back towards the market, defendant said he “was going

to go check for himself” and asked Sadewater to pull over. The shooting occurred

thereafter. During his guilt-phase testimony, defendant denied robbing Seng Heng

Market or shooting San. In its closing argument, the prosecution referred to

Sadewater’s statements to police and her testimony at her own trial, which both

corroborated her testimony here.

The trial court instructed the jury with CALJIC No. 2.13, which told the

jury it may consider a witness’s prior consistent or inconsistent statement for

purposes of judging the witness’s credibility and as evidence of the truth of the

facts the witness recounted on the prior occasion. It did not give, nor did

defendant request, the standard instruction on viewing a defendant’s preoffense

oral statements with caution. (CALJIC No. 2.71.7.) Defendant claims the failure

to give CALJIC No. 2.71.7, along with the use of CALJIC No. 2.13, gave the jury

a false impression that “Sadewater’s testimony was as worthy of belief as other

witnesses who were not burdened with the same bias or motive to lie about

[defendant]’s involvement in the crimes charged.”

20

a. CALJIC No. 2.71.7

A trial court has a sua sponte duty to instruct the jury to view a defendant’s

oral admissions with caution if the evidence warrants it. (People v. Dickey (2005)

35 Cal.4th 884, 905; People v. Carpenter (1997) 15 Cal.4th 312, 393 [purpose of

cautionary instruction applies “to any oral statement of the defendant, whether

made before, during, or after the crime”].) To determine prejudice, “[w]e apply

the normal standard of review for state law error: whether it is reasonably

probable the jury would have reached a result more favorable to defendant had the

instruction been given.” (People v. Carpenter, supra, 15 Cal.4th at p. 393.)

Because the cautionary instruction’s purpose is “ ‘to help the jury to determine

whether the statement attributed to the defendant was in fact made, courts

examining the prejudice in failing to give the instruction examine the record to see

if there was any conflict in the evidence about the exact words used, their

meaning, or whether the admissions were repeated accurately. [Citations.]’

[Citation.]” (People v. Dickey, supra, 35 Cal.4th at p. 905.)

The Attorney General concedes that the trial court erred by failing to

instruct the jury to view with caution defendant’s preoffense statements of intent

or planning to Sadewater. However, he argues the error was harmless. We agree.

A defendant’s simple denials about making the statements, along with

uncontradicted testimony about his statements, may support the conclusion that

the instructional error was harmless. (People v. Dickey, supra, 35 Cal.4th at p.

906.) Here, the record reveals that defendant denied planning to meet someone

named Twin, denied knowing anyone named Reggie, and denied planning to rob

Reggie. Although defendant did not specifically deny asking Sadewater if she

wanted to “hit” the market or telling her that he wanted to check out the market

himself, he did deny he was with Sadewater at the time he made the alleged

statements and ultimately denied robbing Seng Heng Market and fatally shooting

21

San. Given defendant’s denials, the issue was whether Sadewater was a credible

witness or if she fabricated her testimony regarding defendant’s admissions to her.

(See ibid.)

While failing to give CALJIC No. 2.71.7, the trial court thoroughly

instructed the jury on judging the credibility of a witness. Because Sadewater was

originally charged as a codefendant and was convicted of being an accessory after

the fact and of attempted robbery, the jury was instructed that Sadewater was an

accomplice as a matter of law and that her testimony was subject to the rule

requiring corroboration. (CALJIC No. 3.16.) Accordingly, the jury was also

instructed to view Sadewater’s testimony “with distrust” (CALJIC No. 3.18),7 that

her testimony must be corroborated (CALJIC Nos. 3.11, 3.12), that her felony

conviction could be used to evaluate her credibility (CALJIC No. 2.23), and that

prior inconsistent statements, inconsistent testimony, and willfully false testimony

would all bear on credibility. (CALJIC Nos. 2.13, 2.21.1, 2.21.2, 2.23.) With

these instructions and the impeachment of Sadewater’s credibility in this regard,

the jury was “unquestionably aware” that Sadewater’s testimony should be viewed

with caution. (People v. Dickey, supra, 35 Cal.4th at p. 907; see also People v.

Carpenter, supra, 15 Cal.4th at p. 393.) Thus, we conclude it was not reasonably

probable that the jury would have reached a more favorable verdict had it been

instructed with CALJIC No. 2.71.7.

b. CALJIC No. 2.13

Defendant asserts that through the use of CALJIC No. 2.13, the prosecution

used Sadewater’s prior statements to police and her testimony at her own trial to


7

We have since concluded that the phrase “care and caution” better

articulates the standard on viewing accomplice testimony than the word “distrust.”
(People v. Guiuan (1998) 18 Cal.4th 558, 569.)

22

unfairly bolster its case against defendant. He contends that CALJIC No. 2.13

impermissibly favored the prosecution because the instruction did not tell the jury

it could consider Sadewater’s statements for their falsity as well as for their truth,

and that the instruction improperly implied the prior statements were factual

because the jury could consider them as evidence. We disagree.

Consistent with Evidence Code sections 1235 and 1236, CALJIC No.

2.13, which had been in use since 1979, simply informed the jury that when a

witness had spoken inconsistently in the past, it may choose to disbelieve the

witness’s trial testimony and accept the prior statement, while if the witness had

spoken consistently in the past, the jury may consider this as evidence that the

witness had spoken truthfully all along. In this case, once told that the clerk had

been killed, Sadewater generally gave a consistent account of the events in her

statements to police, her testimony at her own trial, and her testimony at

defendant’s trial.

Even assuming error, there was no prejudice. (See People v. Dickey, supra,

35 Cal.4th at pp. 905-906.) In view of the jury instructions as a whole —

particularly those instructions which adequately informed the jury to view

Sadewater’s testimony with caution (as discussed above) — we conclude that it

was not reasonably probable that the jury would have reached a more favorable

verdict had it not been instructed with CALJIC No. 2.13. (People v. Dickey,

supra, 35 Cal.4th at pp. 905-906; see People v. Guerra (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1067,

1148-1149 [claims of instructional error evaluated in light of instructions as a

whole].)

Because any error in failing to instruct the jury with CALJIC No. 2.71.7

was harmless, and there was no error or prejudice from the giving of CALJIC No.

2.13, we conclude there was no cumulative prejudice.

23

3. Instruction on First Degree Felony Murder

Defendant contends the trial court erred and violated his constitutional

rights in instructing the jury on first degree murder, and that it lacked jurisdiction

to try him for such offense, because the information charged him only with second

degree malice murder under section 187. (See U.S. Const., 6th, 8th & 14th

Amends.; Cal. Const., art. I, §§ 7, 15, 16, 17.) We have consistently rejected that

contention. (People v. Geier (2007) 41 Cal.4th 555, 591 [citing cases]; People v.

Nakahara (2003) 30 Cal.4th 705, 712 [“Felony murder and premeditated murder

are not distinct crimes, and need not be separately pleaded”]; People v. Hughes

(2002) 27 Cal.4th 287, 369.) The high court’s decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey

(2000) 530 U.S. 466, does not mandate a different conclusion. (People v.

Nakahara, supra, 30 Cal.4th at pp. 712-713.)

4. Instruction on Motive (CALJIC No. 2.51)

The trial court gave the following standard instruction on motive: “Motive

is not an element of the crime charged and need not be shown. However, you may

consider motive or lack of motive as a circumstance in this case. Presence of

motive may tend to establish the defendant is guilty. Absence of motive may tend

to show the defendant is not guilty.” (CALJIC No. 2.51.) Defendant asserts that

this instruction unconstitutionally (1) allowed the jury to determine guilt on

motive alone; (2) shifted the burden of proof to imply that defendant had to prove

innocence; and (3) lessened the prosecution’s burden of proof by suggesting the

terms “motive” and “intent” were interchangeable. (See U.S. Const., 6th, 8th &

14th Amends.; Cal. Const., art. I, §§ 7, 15.)

The first argument, which “merely goes to the clarity of the instruction,” is

not cognizable on appeal because defendant failed to request clarification at trial to

avoid any implication that motive alone could establish guilt. (People v.

Cleveland (2004) 32 Cal.4th 704, 750.) Moreover, these arguments are meritless.

24

(See People v. Snow (2003) 30 Cal.4th 43, 98 [CALJIC No. 2.51 “leaves little

conceptual room for the idea that motive could establish all the elements of

murder”]; see also People v. Kelly (2007) 42 Cal.4th 763, 792 [citing cases].)

“ ‘The motive instruction did not itself include instructions on the prosecution’s

burden of proof and the reasonable doubt standard, but it also did not undercut

other instructions that correctly informed the jury that the prosecution had the

burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.’ ” (People v. Kelly, supra, 42

Cal.4th at p. 792, quoting People v. Cleveland, supra, 32 Cal.4th at p. 750.)

We reject defendant’s specific claim that the jury inevitably confused

“motive,” as outlined in CALJIC No. 2.51, with the element of “intent.”

“[A]lthough malice and certain intents and purposes are elements of the crimes, as

the court correctly instructed the jury, motive is not an element. . . . Motive

describes the reason a person chooses to commit a crime. The reason, however, is

different from a required mental state such as intent or malice.” (People v.

Hillhouse (2002) 27 Cal.4th 469, 503-504.) As relevant here, the jury was

instructed that intent was a necessary element of attempted robbery (CALJIC No.

9.40). (See People v. Guerra, supra, 37 Cal.4th at p. 1135.) We conclude the

instructions here as a whole did not refer to motive and intent interchangeably, and

there was no reasonable likelihood the jury understood the terms to be

synonymous. (See ibid.)

Contrary to defendant’s contention, People v. Maurer (1995) 32

Cal.App.4th 1121, 1126-1127, is distinguishable because in that case, motive was

an element of the crime for which the defendant was convicted. (See People v.

Hillhouse, supra, 27 Cal.4th at p. 504.) The trial court gave no instruction that

purportedly interchanged motive and intent. (Cf. ibid. [force instruction stating

that “ ‘robbery must be motivated by the intent to steal’ ” did not transform such

intent into motive].)

25

5. Instructions

Undermining the Reasonable Doubt Standard

Defendant contends that various instructions relating to the prosecution’s

burden of proof were constitutionally defective. (CALJIC Nos. 1.00, 2.01, 2.21.2,

2.22, 2.27, 2.51, 8.83.1.) He asserts that these instructions in various

combinations resulted in “the dilution of the reasonable-doubt requirement,”

thereby violating his rights to due process, trial by jury, and a reliable capital trial.

(U.S. Const., 6th, 8th, 14th Amends.; Cal. Const., art. I, §§ 7, 15, 17.) We reject

each of these claims.

Defendant claims that CALJIC Nos. 2.01 and 8.83.1, which directed the

jury to accept reasonable inferences and reject unreasonable ones, impermissibly

(1) compelled the jury to find defendant guilty on all counts and to find the special

circumstance true by using a standard lower than proof beyond a reasonable doubt,

and (2) required the jury to draw an incriminatory inference when the inference

merely seemed “reasonable.” Not so. These instructions do not create “ ‘an

impermissible mandatory conclusive presumption of guilt’ ” (People v. Nakahara,

supra, 30 Cal.4th at p. 714), nor do they “permit the jury to base a determination

of guilt on something less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” (People v.

Jurado (2006) 38 Cal.4th 72, 127.)

Defendant also argues that five instructions (CALJIC Nos. 1.00, 2.21.2,

2.22, 2.27, 2.51) unconstitutionally lowered the requisite standard of proof. We

have repeatedly rejected such challenges to these instructions, and do so again

here. (People v. Jurado, supra, 38 Cal.4th at p. 127; People v. Carey (2007) 41

Cal.4th 109, 131.) We reiterate that each of these instructions “is unobjectionable

when, as here, it is accompanied by the usual instructions on reasonable doubt, the

presumption of innocence, and the People’s burden of proof.” (People v.

Nakahara, supra, 30 Cal.4th at p. 715.) As discussed above (see ante, at pp. 24-

26

25), we have rejected defendant’s challenges to CALJIC No. 2.51. We see no

basis to reconsider any of these holdings.

C. Penalty Phase

1. Removal of a Juror Without Sufficient Cause

On May 10, 1998, the second day of penalty phase deliberations, the trial

court received a note from the jury foreperson which read: “We have a juror

whose decision was made up prior to deliberation. Please advise.” Out of the

presence of other jurors, the trial court questioned the jury foreperson, Juror No. 5,

about the note. Juror No. 5 explained that one juror had already made a decision

about penalty before such deliberations began, and that she was not going to

change her mind.8 Juror No. 5 identified the person as Juror No. 1.


8

The following exchange took place:

“The Court: Without giving us any information how the jury may be

divided, if they are divided or otherwise, can you tell us why it is that you believe
that someone, without specifying who it is, is not deliberating appropriately?

“Juror No. 5: She told us that she had made up her mind before she came

in. She told us three times.

“The Court: She announced that even prior to you beginning discussions?

“Juror No. 5: Well, we had been sitting and talking and discussing it. And

she said, after we took our first vote, that there was no way she was going to
change her mind, she had made up her mind before she went in there. So she said
there was no way she would change her mind.

“The Court: And did that person participate at all in any of the

discussions?

“Juror No. 5: No. I asked her — I went around the table and asked

everyone their opinions, even those who weren’t so open. You have people that
are listeners and you have people that are, you know — that like to talk and like to
get their opinions out. So I went around the table asking those that weren’t so
open to discussing their opinions. And I asked her and she said she had made up
her mind. She said before we got in there that she had made up her mind and that

(Footnote continued on next page.)

27

The trial court next questioned Juror No. 1. The juror admitted that she had

“more or less” made up her mind about penalty and that she was not going to be

swayed by further discussion. She confirmed that she had that view when the jury

was sent back to begin penalty phase deliberations. After conferring with the

prosecution and defense counsel on what to do next, the trial court asked Juror No.

1 one final question: “You have indicated that you pretty much had your feelings

or your mind made up when you began your discussions. [¶] Are you willing at

this point in time to listen with an open mind to the argument of the other jurors or

do you feel that your mind is made up at this point in time?” The juror answered:

“If there was eleven and I was the only one, I would go with them.” She repeated

that she would go along with the other 11 jurors, even if she felt strongly about her

own contrary position.

After Juror No. 1 left the courtroom, the prosecutor stated he believed the

juror, who was elderly and appeared to be tired, was violating her duty as a juror.

The trial court agreed: “She appears to be wearing at this point. Her statement



(Footnote continued from previous page.)

there was no way. [¶] We asked her — we also — two people also stated, ‘Well,
you were told, the instructions were told you [sic] or as they were discussed with
us that you weren’t supposed to have predisposed’ —

“The Court: Okay. After you brought that to the person’s attention, did the

person then participate in discussions or attempt to express their ideas or why they
felt the way that they felt?

“Juror No. 5: 0. [Sic.]

“The Court: Just flat out —

“Juror No. 5: Flat out nothing.

“The Court: ‘I made up my mind and I’m not going to change it’?

“Juror No. 5: She’s ready to go home.”

28

that she would simply go along with the other eleven jurors if she were the

holdout, notwithstanding her own feelings about the correctness of her position,

that coupled with the report by the foreperson of the jury, it does not appear that

this juror is participating in a meaningful way in deliberations.” The trial court

discharged Juror No. 1 for failing to deliberate, and replaced her with an alternate

juror. Defendant did not object to the substitution, nor did he move for a mistrial.9

On appeal, defendant asserts that Juror No. 1 did not fail to deliberate. He

contends she did not violate her oath as a juror, and that she should not have been

discharged simply because she disagreed with other jurors. He argues therefore

that the trial court abused its discretion in removing her without sufficient cause,

and that her removal requires reversal of the penalty determination and death

judgment. He maintains the trial court’s actions violated his rights to have his trial

completed by a particular tribunal, to an impartial jury, to due process, and to a

reliable capital sentencing determination. (U.S. Const., 6th, 8th & 14th Amends.;

Cal. Const., art. I, §§ 7, 15.) Because defendant failed to object or to move for a

mistrial, he has forfeited his claim of error. (See People v. Cunningham (2001) 25

Cal.4th 926, 1029.) His claim also fails on the merits.

As relevant here, a trial court may discharge a juror for “good cause” at any

time if the juror “is found to be unable to perform his or her duty.” (§ 1089.)10

“A juror who refuses to follow the court’s instructions is ‘unable to perform his


9

Defense counsel implicitly agreed that excusing the juror might be proper:

“If she is not deliberating and following the law, that’s one thing.”

10

In pertinent part, section 1089 provides: “If at any time, whether before or

after the final submission of the case to the jury, a juror dies or becomes ill, or
upon other good cause shown to the court is found to be unable to perform his or
her duty, . . . the court may order the juror to be discharged and draw the name of
an alternate, who shall then take a place . . . .”

29

duty’ within the meaning of Penal Code section 1089.” (People v. Williams

(2001) 25 Cal.4th 441, 448.) Such instructions here included that each juror

render a verdict “according to the evidence presented and the instructions of the

court” (see Code Civ. Proc., § 232, subd. (b)), and that each juror “will consider

all of the evidence, follow the law, exercise your discretion conscientiously, and

reach a just verdict.” “A juror who actually refuses to deliberate is subject to

discharge by the court [citation] . . . .” (People v. Engelman (2002) 28 Cal.4th

436, 442, citing People v. Cleveland, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 484.) “A refusal to

deliberate consists of a juror’s unwillingness to engage in the deliberative process;

that is, he or she will not participate in discussions with fellow jurors by listening

to their views and by expressing his or her own views. Examples of refusal to

deliberate include, but are not limited to, expressing a fixed conclusion at the

beginning of deliberations and refusing to consider other points of view, refusing

to speak to other jurors, and attempting to separate oneself physically from the

remainder of the jury.” (People v. Cleveland, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 485; see

People v. Engelman, supra, 28 Cal.4th at p. 449 [juror’s duty is “to deliberate with

an open mind”].)

We review a trial court’s decision to discharge a juror under an abuse of

discretion standard, and will uphold such decision if the record supports the juror’s

disqualification as a demonstrable reality. (People v. Barnwell (2007) 41 Cal.4th

1038, 1052-1053 [explicitly holding that more stringent “demonstrable reality”

standard is applicable in juror removal cases]; see also People v. Guerra, supra, 37

Cal.4th at p. 1158.) The demonstrable reality test “requires a showing that the

court as trier of fact did rely on evidence that, in light of the entire record, supports

its conclusion that [disqualification] was established.” (People v. Barnwell, supra,

41 Cal.4th at pp. 1052-1053.) To determine whether the trial court’s conclusion is

“manifestly supported by evidence on which the court actually relied,” we

30

consider not just the evidence itself, but also the record of reasons the court

provided. (Id. at p. 1053.) In doing so, we will not reweigh the evidence. (Ibid.)

Applying these general principles to the circumstances of this case, we

conclude that the trial court’s decision to discharge Juror No. 1. was not an abuse

of discretion because the juror’s refusal to deliberate appears in the record as a

demonstrable reality. The trial court here expressly found that Juror No. 1 was not

“participating in a meaningful way in deliberations” based on the jury foreperson’s

report that Juror No. 1 had made a final decision about penalty before

deliberations began, and Juror No. 1’s statement that she would simply go along

with the other 11 jurors if she were the holdout and held a contrary position. As

the jury foreperson explained, Juror No. 1 repeatedly told other jurors she had

already made up her mind, and did not participate in any of the discussions. Juror

No. 1 essentially confirmed this account to the court. As discussed above,

“expressing a fixed conclusion at the beginning of deliberations and refusing to

consider other points of view,” and failing to “participate in discussions with

fellow jurors” both constitute a refusal to deliberate. (People v. Cleveland, supra,

25 Cal.4th at p. 485.)

Moreover, Juror No. 1’s admission that she would go along with the other

11 jurors if they all agreed on a position, even if she strongly disagreed with them,

also subjected her to discharge. (See People v. Engelman, supra, 28 Cal.4th at p.

442 [“juror who proposes to reach a verdict without respect to the law or the

evidence” is subject to discharge]; People v. Williams, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 463

[reaffirming “basic rule that jurors are required to determine the facts and render a

verdict in accordance with the court’s instructions on the law”; jurors unable to do

so are subject to discharge].) “ ‘Acquiescence simply because the verdict has been

reached by the majority is not an independent judgment, and if permitted, would

31

undermine the right to a unanimous verdict.’ ” (People v. Gainer (1977) 19

Cal.3d 835, 849.)

Contrary to defendant’s contention, this is not a situation where the juror

had doubts about the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence, viewed the

evidence differently from the way other jurors viewed it, or, after participating in

deliberations for a reasonable time, expressed the belief that that further

discussions would not alter her view. (People v. Cleveland, supra, 25 Cal.4th at

pp. 483, 486 [finding trial court abused discretion in discharging juror].) Nothing

in the record supports these scenarios. Though defendant emphasizes that Juror

No. 1 told other jurors she had already made up her mind after the jury’s first vote

(which assertedly indicates she was participating in deliberations), this does not

contradict Juror No. 1’s direct statement that she had already made up her mind at

the start of penalty deliberations, a fact she confirmed several times to the trial

court. We are confident that the trial court’s conclusion that Juror No. 1 was not

meaningfully participating in deliberations is “manifestly supported by evidence

on which the court actually relied.” (People v. Barnwell, supra, 41 Cal.4th at p.

1053.)

2. Instructional

Errors

At the end of the penalty phase, the trial court instructed the jury on the

following standard instructions: CALJIC Nos. 8.84.1 (duty of jury — penalty

proceeding), 8.85 (penalty trial — factors for consideration), and 8.88 (penalty

trial — concluding instruction). As relevant here, CALJIC No. 8.84.1 directed

jurors to “accept and follow the law” in the penalty phase only as the trial court

32

instructs, and to “[d]isregard all other instructions given to you in other phases of

this trial.” The court also instructed with five special instructions.11

Defendant argues that the trial court erred by failing to reinstruct the jury at

the penalty phase with applicable guilt phase instructions, “beginning with

CALJIC 1.01, concluding with CALJIC 8.88,” as suggested in the Use Note to

CALJIC No. 8.84.1. (Use Note to CALJIC No. 8.84.1 (7th ed. 2005), p. 445.)

Specifically, he alleges that the trial court should have instructed with CALJIC

Nos. 1.02 (statements of counsel — evidence stricken out — insinuations of

questions — stipulated facts), 2.10 (statements made by defendant to physician);

2.20 (believability of witness), 2.22 (weighing conflicting testimony); 2.27

(sufficiency of testimony of one witness), 2.71.7 (preoffense statement by

defendant), 2.80 (expert testimony — qualifications of expert), and 2.82


11

The first special instruction told the jury it could not consider the deterrent

effect of the death penalty or the cost to the state of execution or of maintaining a
prisoner for life without possibility of parole in determining penalty.

The second instruction read: “The factors which I have listed are the only

ones you may find to be aggravating factors, and you cannot take into account any
other facts or circumstances as a basis for imposing the penalty of death on the
defendant.”

The third instruction stated that neither side had a burden of proof at the

penalty phase and that “[i]t is not required that all twelve jurors agree on whether
or not a factor in aggravation or mitigation has been proven before an individual
juror may consider it.” The fourth instruction told the jury that it could consider
sympathy or pity for defendant, and “[i]f supported by the evidence, it is also
permissible to consider sympathy, and the impact on the victim’s family when
determining the circumstances of the case.”

The final instruction read: “Evidence was introduced at the guilt phase of

this trial tending to show that the defendant may have committed other crimes.
This evidence is insufficient to establish that the defendant committed those
crimes and cannot be considered by you in determining the penalty to be
imposed.”

33

(hypothetical questions). He also contends the trial court should have instructed

the jury with CALJIC Nos. 17.30 through 17.50, which include cautionary

instructions, instructions on the jurors’ duties, and concluding instructions.

At bottom, defendant claims that the lack of affirmative guidance at the

penalty phase, along with the specific instruction that the jury not consider guilt

phase instructions (CALJIC No. 8.84.1), precluded a fair, reliable, and consistent

capital sentencing determination, in violation of the state and federal

Constitutions. Assuming the trial court erroneously failed to give applicable

instructions at the penalty phase, we conclude any error was harmless. (See

People v. Carter (2003) 30 Cal.4th 1166, 1221-1222.)

Under the state standard, an error at the penalty phase of a capital trial is

prejudicial if “there is a reasonable possibility the error affected the verdict.”

(People v. Gonzalez (2006) 38 Cal.4th 932, 960-961.) This test is effectively the

same as that under Chapman v. California (1967) 386 U.S. 18, which asks

whether the error is harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. (People v. Gonzalez,

supra, 38 Cal.4th at p. 961.) While we focus on the “reasonable possibility” test,

our conclusion applies equally to Chapman’s “reasonable doubt” test. (People v.

Gonzalez, supra, 38 Cal.4th at pp. 960-961.) After examining the evidence

presented at the penalty phase, we conclude there was no reasonable possibility

the omitted instructions affected the jury’s evaluation of the evidence. (See

People v. Carter, supra, 30 Cal.4th at pp. 1220-1221.)

First, we reject defendant’s assertion that without instructions concerning

an expert’s testimony (CALJIC Nos. 2.10, 2.80, 2.82), the jury likely did not give

due weight to Dr. Taylor’s testimony, and yet impermissibly considered

defendant’s drug use and other criminal history as aggravating evidence. There is

nothing to suggest that the jury did not properly assess Dr. Taylor’s testimony in

the absence of CALJIC No. 2.80, which instructs the jury it is not bound by expert

34

testimony but may accord such testimony whatever weight it deserves. As in

People v. Carter, the jury here “expressed no confusion or uncertainty [about how

to evaluate Dr. Taylor’s testimony] and never requested clarification.” (People v.

Carter, supra, 30 Cal.4th at p. 1221.) Moreover, with respect to defendant’s prior

drug use, the jury was instructed that although evidence was introduced in the

guilt phase tending to show defendant committed other crimes, such “evidence is

insufficient to establish that the defendant committed those crimes and cannot be

considered by you in determining the penalty to be imposed.” (See fn. 11, ante, at

p. 33.) The court also instructed the jury not to consider other aggravating

circumstances or factors, except those the court listed, “as a basis for imposing the

penalty of death on the defendant.” (Ibid.) We presume the jury followed these

instructions. (People v. Yeoman (2003) 31 Cal.4th 93, 139.) In addition, although

defendant generally criticizes the trial court for omitting a “fundamental”

instruction defining evidence (CALJIC No. 2.00), he “does no more than speculate

that [its] absence somehow prejudiced him.” (People v. Carter, supra, 30 Cal.4th

at p. 1221.) That is not enough.

Second, we reject defendant’s claim based on the trial court’s failure to

give CALJIC No. 1.02, the standard instruction that the attorneys’ statements are

not evidence. He maintains that without this instruction, the jury improperly

considered the prosecution’s cross-examination question to Dr. Taylor on whether

Dr. Taylor could “guarantee that the defendant will not act out with violence

should he get his hands, again, on prison-type shanks.” After the prosecution

withdrew the question, which impermissibly bore on defendant’s future

dangerousness, the trial court made clear in a sidebar conference that “[t]here was

no answer for [jurors] to ignore at this point or to disregard at this point. They

were instructed previously that the question itself is not evidence.” This sidebar

occurred before the trial court instructed the jury to disregard guilt phase

35

instructions. Defendant complains that the trial court did not specifically

admonish the jury to disregard the prosecution’s question, which, as we

understand defendant’s argument, would have presumably cured any prejudice

from later instructing the jury to disregard all guilt phase instructions such as

CALJIC No. 1.02. Not so. With special penalty phase instructions directing the

jury to disregard other aggravating facts or circumstances and any evidence

tending to show defendant committed other crimes (see ante, at pp. 33, fn. 11, 35),

we conclude defendant was not prejudiced by the omission of CALJIC No. 1.02.

(People v. Carter, supra, 30 Cal.4th at pp. 1221-1222.)

Third, we reject defendant’s argument that the failure to reinstruct the jury

with instructions to view Sadewater’s guilt phase testimony with caution was

prejudicial. (See CALJIC Nos. 2.20, 2.22, 2.27, 2.71.7.) On cross-examination,

the prosecution questioned Dr. Taylor about his report in which he wrote that “the

profile suggests that the individual has a preference for action and is inclined to act

out. They are action-oriented individuals who tend to act out their conflict in an

impulsive way.” After being asked whether he was aware defendant had been

planning a robbery all day long on the day of the murder, Dr. Taylor replied he

had read about a discussion of planning in the police report. Dr. Taylor agreed

with the prosecution that “[a] seven or eight hour time period in which a person

has to reflect upon a course of conduct” is not impulsive. Defendant argues that

because evidence that he “had been planning a robbery all day long came only

from Sadewater’s testimony at the guilt phase — testimony that the jury was not

properly instructed to view with caution,” the failure to give instructions to view

her testimony with caution was prejudicial.

We disagree. As Dr. Taylor’s own testimony revealed, his opinion that

planning a robbery did not constitute impulsive behavior was based not on

Sadewater’s guilt phase testimony, but on police reports he had reviewed.

36

Moreover, Sadewater did not testify at the penalty phase. Because the need for

certain guilt phase instructions at the penalty phase is obviously determined by

what evidence is admitted at the penalty phase, we fail to see how the court erred

in failing to reinstruct the jury with respect to Sadewater’s guilt phase testimony.

In any event, as revealed by the jury’s guilty verdict and special circumstance

finding, the jury already chose to believe Sadewater’s testimony and to disbelieve

defendant’s testimony.

Finally, we reject defendant’s claim that the trial court erred in failing to

instruct sua sponte with CALJIC Nos. 17.30 through 17.50, which include

cautionary instructions, instructions on the jurors’ duties, and concluding

instructions. While the Use Note to CALJIC No. 8.84.1 refers to CALJIC Nos.

1.01 through 8.88, it makes no reference to CALJIC Nos. 17.30 through 17.50.

Defendant provides no authority supporting his claim that the trial court had a sua

sponte duty in this regard; nor, we add, does he argue that the failure to give such

instructions resulted in prejudice here. Thus, by failing to request such

instructions at trial, defendant has waived this claim.

Based on the foregoing, we conclude there was no reasonable possibility

that the omission of various guilt phase instructions at the penalty phase affected

the penalty verdict. (People v. Carter, supra, 30 Cal.4th at p. 1221.)

3. Intercase

Proportionality

Defendant contends that the absence of intercase proportionality review

renders the death penalty statute and his death sentence arbitrary and capricious

under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

We have repeatedly rejected this claim. (People v. Cook (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1334,

1368; People v. Moon (2005) 37 Cal.4th 1, 48; see also Pulley v. Harris (1984)
465 U.S. 37, 50-51 [federal Constitution does not require intercase proportionality

37

review].) Although defendant argues that “[t]he time has come for Pulley v.

Harris to be reevaluated,” he presents no compelling reason for us to do so. (See

People v. Moon, supra, 37 Cal.4th at p. 48 [rejecting identical claim].)

4. Challenges to Death Penalty Scheme

Defendant raises several constitutional challenges to the death penalty

statute and related jury instructions. (See U.S. Const., 5th, 6th, 8th & 14th

Amends.) We have consistently considered and rejected these claims, and do so

again here. Specifically, we conclude that the death penalty scheme is not

unconstitutional because it fails to allocate the burden of proof — or establish the

standard of proof — for finding the existence of an aggravating factor, or because

it does not require the jury to find that the aggravating factors outweigh the

mitigating factors, or that death is the appropriate penalty. (People v. Geier,

supra, 41 Cal.4th at p. 618; People v. Stitely (2005) 35 Cal.4th 514, 573.) The

high court decisions in Blakely v. Washington (2004) 542 U.S. 296, Ring v.

Arizona (2002) 536 U.S. 584, and Apprendi v. New Jersey, supra, 530 U.S. 466,

do not alter our conclusions in this regard. (People v. Stitely, supra, 35 Cal.4th at

p. 573.)

We also conclude that the penalty phase instructions were not defective in

failing to assign a burden of persuasion regarding the jury’s penalty decision

(People v. Smith (2005) 35 Cal.4th 334, 370-371), in failing to require juror

unanimity on the aggravating factors (People v. Abilez (2007) 41 Cal.4th 472,

533), or in failing to include an instruction on the “presumption of life.” (People

v. Geier, supra, 41 Cal.4th at p. 618.)

5. Instruction on Jury’s Sentencing Discretion (CALJIC No. 8.88)

The trial court instructed the jury with a modified version of CALJIC No.

8.88, which explained the jury’s consideration of aggravating and mitigating

38

factors in deciding between the two penalties, death or life imprisonment without

the possibility of parole. Defendant raises several constitutional challenges to this

instruction, all of which we have previously rejected. (People v. Moon, supra, 37

Cal.4th at p. 43.) Contrary to defendant’s arguments, CALJIC No. 8.88 is not

unconstitutionally vague because it uses the phrase “so substantial” (People v.

Moon, supra, 37 Cal.4th at p. 43); it is not unconstitutional in failing to inform the

jury that death must be the appropriate penalty, not just the warranted penalty

(ibid.); it is not unconstitutional for failing to inform the jury that if it finds

mitigating circumstances outweigh aggravating circumstances, it is required to

impose a sentence of life without the possibility of parole (id. at p. 42); and it does

not reduce the prosecution’s burden of proof (id. at pp. 43-44 [rejecting

arguments based on burden of proof]).

6. Instructions on Section 190.3 Sentencing Factors

Defendant also challenges the constitutionality of CALJIC No. 8.85, which

outlines section 190.3’s mitigating and aggravating factors a jury considers in

determining whether to impose a sentence of death or life without parole. He

contends that the application of section 190.3, factor (a) (“circumstances of the

crime”) through CALJIC No. 8.85 does not sufficiently narrow the class of death-

eligible offenders, resulting in the arbitrary and capricious imposition of the death

penalty. Moreover, he argues that the instruction as given unconstitutionally (1)

failed to delete inapplicable sentencing factors; (2) failed to instruct that statutory

mitigating factors are relevant solely as mitigators; (3) included restrictive

adjectives (“extreme,” “substantial”) to define certain mitigating factors, which

purportedly impeded the jurors’ consideration of mitigating evidence; and (4)

failed to require written findings as to aggravating factors the jury found and

39

considered in imposing a death sentence, thus precluding meaningful appellate

review. (See U.S. Const., 5th, 6th, 8th & 14th Amends.)

We have repeatedly rejected each of these challenges. (People v. Geier,

supra, 41 Cal.4th at pp. 619-620 [citing cases].) Specifically, the breadth of the

“circumstances of the crime” factor (§ 190.3, factor (a)) does not result in the

arbitrary and capricious application of the death penalty. (People v. Smith, supra,

35 Cal.4th at p. 373.) Also, the trial court did not err in failing to delete

inapplicable sentencing factors (People v. Stitely, supra, 35 Cal.4th at p. 574); the

instruction was not deficient in failing to tell the jury that mitigating factors were

relevant only to mitigation (People v. Ramos (2004) 34 Cal.4th 494, 530);

including certain adjectives did not impede jurors from considering mitigating

evidence (People v. Box (2000) 23 Cal.4th 1153, 1217); and failing to require a

written statement of the jury’s findings did not preclude meaningful appellate

review (People v. Stitely, supra, 35 Cal.4th at p. 574). Finally, CALJIC No. 8.85

as given did not violate defendant’s equal protection rights. (People v. Blair

(2005) 36 Cal.4th 686, 754 [“the availability of procedural protections such as jury

unanimity or written factual findings in noncapital cases does not signify that

California's death penalty statute violates equal protection principles”]; see also

People v. Cornwell (2005) 37 Cal.4th 50, 103.) Defendant identifies no basis for

us to reconsider these holdings.

7. International

Law

Defendant contends his death sentence violates the International Covenant

on Civil and Political Rights because the imposition of the death penalty as a

regular form of punishment is contrary to international norms of human decency.

While recognizing we have rejected such claims, defendant asks us to reconsider

our decisions “and, in the context of his case, find his death sentence violates

40

international law.” (See, e.g., People v. Brown (2004) 33 Cal.4th 382, 403-404;

People v. Hillhouse, supra, 27 Cal.4th at p. 511.) Defendant fails to identify any

basis for reconsideration or for reversal of his sentence.

As we have consistently held, “International law does not prohibit a

sentence of death rendered in accordance with state and federal constitutional and

statutory requirements.” (People v. Hillhouse, supra, 27 Cal.4th at p. 511; accord,

People v. Boyer, supra, 38 Cal.4th at p. 489.) Because defendant’s trial did not

include any violations of state or federal law, “we decline to find the law defective

based on any provision of international law.” (People v. Brown, supra, 33 Cal.4th

at p. 404.) We also reject defendant’s related claim that the Eighth Amendment,

which defendant asserts adopts evolving standards of decency of civilized nations,

prohibits the use of death as a regular form of punishment.

8. Cumulative

Error

Defendant claims that while individual errors at the guilt and penalty

phases may not be prejudicial in isolation, the combined effect of these errors

prejudicially impacted his trial in violation of the state and federal Constitutions.

In the one instance in which we have found error (see ante, at pp. 21-22), we

concluded that such error was harmless. Thus, having found no prejudicial error,

we reject this claim. (See People v. Tafoya (2007) 42 Cal.4th 147, 199.)

41

III. DISPOSITION

For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the judgment.

CHIN, J.

WE CONCUR:

GEORGE, C.J.
KENNARD, J.
BAXTER, J.
WERDEGAR, J.
MORENO, J.
CORRIGAN, J.


42










CONCURRING OPINION BY WERDEGAR, J.




I concur generally in the majority’s reasoning and result. In particular, I

agree defendant forfeited his argument that the trial court erred by denying two of

his challenges for cause because, although he removed the two prospective jurors

using peremptory challenges and subsequently exhausted the number of such

challenges allotted to him by statute, he did not thereafter express his

dissatisfaction with the jury as constituted. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 13.) I also agree

that even assuming he had preserved the issue for our consideration, neither

prospective juror demonstrated his or her views would prevent or substantially

impair the prospective juror’s ability to serve on the jury.

Our conclusion on the forfeiture issue, however, raises a small but

important issue, namely, what exactly must a litigant do to preserve such a claim

for appeal? Unfortunately, this court has been less than consistent on this point.

On the one hand, we have held that “[t]o preserve a claim based on the trial court’s

overruling a defense challenge for cause, a defendant must show (1) he used an

available peremptory challenge to remove the juror in question; (2) he exhausted

all of his peremptory challenges or can justify the failure to do so; and (3) he

expressed dissatisfaction with the jury ultimately selected.” (People v. Maury

(2003) 30 Cal.4th 342, 379, italics added; see also People v. Avila (2006) 38

Cal.4th 491, 539 [quoting Maury with approval].)

1

On the other hand, we have also articulated the test this way: “To preserve

a claim of trial court error in failing to remove a juror for bias in favor of the death

penalty, a defendant must either exhaust all peremptory challenges and express

dissatisfaction with the jury ultimately selected or justify the failure to do so.”

(People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 635, 667, italics added; see also People v.

Hoyos (2007) 41 Cal.4th 872, 904 [quoting Williams with approval]; People v.

Guerra (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1067, 1099 [same].)

The difference is subtle. Does the justification option excuse the failure to

exhaust one’s peremptory challenges, the failure to express dissatisfaction with the

jury, or both? As the majority implicitly recognizes, we need not resolve the point

in this case, because defendant neither stated he was dissatisfied with the jury nor

attempted to justify that failure. Counsel in future cases who wish to raise this

issue on appeal, however, should be aware of this potential inconsistency in the

law and ensure that they (1) remove the prospective juror using a peremptory

challenge, (2) exhaust their allotted challenges, and (3) express on the record their

dissatisfaction with the jury as constituted. Only then can they be confident the

issue will be properly preserved for appellate review.

With that caveat, I concur.

WERDEGAR, J.

2

See next page for addresses and telephone numbers for counsel who argued in Supreme Court.

Name of Opinion People v. Wilson
__________________________________________________________________________________

Unpublished Opinion

Original Appeal XXX
Original Proceeding
Review Granted

Rehearing Granted

__________________________________________________________________________________

Opinion No.
S070327
Date Filed: March 27, 2008
__________________________________________________________________________________

Court:
Superior
County: Los Angeles
Judge: Bradford L. Andrews

__________________________________________________________________________________

Attorneys for Appellant:

Michael J. Hersek, State Public Defender, under appointment by the Supreme Court, and Evan Young,
Deputy State Public Defender, for Defendant and Appellant.




__________________________________________________________________________________

Attorneys for Respondent:

Bill Lockyer and Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorneys General, Robert R. Anderson, Chief Assistant Attorney
General, Pamela C. Hamanaka, Assistant Attorney General, Sharlene Honnaka and Xiomara Costello,
Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.



1





Counsel who argued in Supreme Court (not intended for publication with opinion):

Evan Young
Deputy State Public Defender
221 Main Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 904-5600

Xiomara Costello
Deputy Attorney General
300 South Spring Street, Suite 1702
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 897-2277


2

Automatic appeal from a judgment of death.

Opinion Information
Date:Citation:Docket Number:Category:Status:Cross Referenced Cases:
Thu, 03/27/200843 Cal.4th 1 original opinionS070327Automatic Appealclosed; remittitur issued

WILSON (ANDRE GERALD) ON H.C. (S166315)


Parties
1The People (Respondent)
Represented by Attorney General - Los Angeles Office
Ms. Xiomara Costello, Deputy Attorney General
300 S. Spring Street, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA

2Wilson, Andre Gerald (Appellant)
San Quentin State Prison
Represented by Office Of The State Public Defender-Sf
Ms. Evan Young, Senior Deputy State Public Defender
221 Main Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA


Disposition
Mar 27 2008Opinion: Affirmed

Dockets
May 1 1998Judgment of death
 
May 15 1998Filed certified copy of Judgment of Death Rendered
  5-1-98.
May 15 1998Penal Code sections 190.6 et seq. apply to this case
 
Oct 20 1998Record certified for completeness
 
Mar 11 2002Received letter from:
  appellant Andre Gerald Wilson
Jul 9 2002Filed:
  applt's application for appointment of counsel. (IFP form)
Jul 10 2002Order appointing State Public Defender filed
 
Jul 17 2002Date trial court delivered record to appellant's counsel
  4,202 pp. record
Jul 22 2002Appellant's opening brief letter sent, due:
  February 18, 2003.
Sep 9 2002Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Nov 7 2002Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Jan 6 2003Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Jan 17 2003Received copy of appellant's record correction motion
  Motion to correct and complete the record on appeal. (20 pp.)
Feb 24 2003Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (1st request)
Feb 24 2003Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Feb 27 2003Extension of time granted
  to 4/21/2003 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only four further extensions totaling 240 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her assisting attorney or entity, if any, and any assisting attorney or entity of any separate counsel of record, of this schedule, and to take all steps necessary to meet it.
Apr 16 2003Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (2nd request)
Apr 16 2003Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Apr 21 2003Extension of time granted
  to 6/20/2003 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only three further extensions totaling 180 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her assisting attorney or entity, if any, and any assisting attorney or entity of any separate counsel of record, of this schedule, and to take all steps necessary to meet it.
Jun 5 2003Motion filed (AA confidential)
 
Jun 13 2003Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (3rd request)
Jun 13 2003Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Jun 17 2003Extension of time granted
  to 8/19/2003 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only two further extensions totaling 120 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her assisting attorney or entity, if any, and any assisting attorney or entity of any separate counsel of record, of this schedule, and to take all steps necessary to meet it.
Aug 12 2003Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (4th request)
Aug 12 2003Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Aug 18 2003Extension of time granted
  to 10/20/2003 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only two further extensions totaling 120 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her assisting attorney or entity, if any, and any assisting attorney or entity fo any separate counsel of record, of this schedule, and to take all steps necessary to meet it.
Oct 14 2003Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Oct 14 2003Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (5th request)
Oct 21 2003Extension of time granted
  to 12/19/2003 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only three further extensions totaling 180 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her assisting attorney or entity, if any, and any separate counsel of record, of this schedule, and to take all steps necssary to meet it.
Oct 22 2003Motion denied (confidential)
  Brown, J., was absent and did not participate.
Dec 15 2003Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (6th request)
Dec 15 2003Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Dec 18 2003Extension of time granted
  to 2/17/2004 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only two further extensions totaling 120 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her assisting attorney or entity, if any, and any assisting attorney or entity of any separate counsel of record, of this schedule, and to take all steps necessary to meet it.
Jan 7 2004Record on appeal filed
  Clerk's transcript 13 volumes (2545 pp.) and reporter's transcript 16 volumes (1832 pp.), including material under seal; ASCII disks. Clerk's transcript includes 1906 pp. of juror questionnaires.
Jan 7 2004Letter sent to:
  counsel advising that record on appeal, certified for accuracy, was filed this date.
Feb 10 2004Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (7th request)
Feb 10 2004Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Feb 18 2004Extension of time granted
  to 4/19/2004 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only two further extensions totaling 120 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her assisting attorney or entity, if any, and any assisting attorney or entity of any separate counsel of record, of this schedule, and to take all steps necessary to meet it.
Apr 14 2004Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (8th request)
Apr 14 2004Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Apr 19 2004Extension of time granted
  to June 18, 2004 to file appellant's opening brief. The court anticipates that after that date, only one further extensions totaling 60 additional days will be granted. Counsel is ordered to inform his or her supervising attorney, if any of this schedule, and to take all steps necessary to meet it.
Jun 14 2004Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Jun 14 2004Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (9th request)
Jun 15 2004Extension of time granted
  to 8/17/2004 to file appellant's opening brief. After that date, only five further extensions totaling about 300 additional days will be granted. Extension is granted based upon counsel Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by 5/2005.
Aug 10 2004Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (10th request)
Aug 10 2004Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Aug 13 2004Extension of time granted
  to 10-18-2004 to file AOB. After that date, only four further extensions totaling about 240 additional days will be granted. Extension granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing the brief by May 2005.
Oct 8 2004Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Oct 8 2004Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (11th request)
Oct 19 2004Extension of time granted
  to 12/17/2004 to file appellant's opening brief. After that date, only three further extensions totaling about 180 additional days will be granted. Extension is granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by 5/2005.
Dec 10 2004Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (12th request)
Dec 10 2004Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Dec 15 2004Extension of time granted
  to 2/15/2005 to file appellant's opening brief. After that date, only two further extensions totaling about 120 additional days will be granted. Extension is granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by 5/2005.
Feb 8 2005Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Feb 8 2005Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (13th request)
Feb 16 2005Extension of time granted
  to 4/18/2005 to file appellant's opening brief. After that date, only one further extension totaling about 60 additional days will be granted. Extension is granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticiptes filing that brief by 6/2005.
Apr 8 2005Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Apr 11 2005Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (14th request)
Apr 13 2005Extension of time granted
  to 6/17/2005 to file appellant's opening brief. After that date, only two further extensions totaling about 90 additional days will be granted. Extensionis granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by 9/15/2005.
Jun 10 2005Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (15th request)
Jun 10 2005Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Jun 16 2005Extension of time granted
  to 8/16/2005 to file appellant's opening brief. After that date, only one further extension totaling about 30 additional days will be granted. Extension is granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by 9/15/2005.
Aug 10 2005Counsel's status report received (confidential)
  from State P.D.
Aug 10 2005Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's opening brief. (16th request)
Aug 12 2005Extension of time granted
  to 9-15-2005 to file AOB. After that date, no further extension will be granted. Extension granted based upon Senior Deputy SPD Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing the brief by 9-15-2005.
Sep 15 2005Appellant's opening brief filed
  (52,738 words; 184 pp.)
Sep 19 2005Respondent's brief letter sent; due:
  January 13, 2006
Jan 9 2006Request for extension of time filed
  to file respondent's brief. (1st. request)
Jan 12 2006Extension of time granted
  to 3/13/2006 to file respondent's brief.
Mar 9 2006Request for extension of time filed
  to file respondent's brief [2nd request]
Mar 16 2006Extension of time granted
  to May 15, 2006 to file respondent's brief. Extension is granted based upon Deputy Attorney General Xiomara Costello's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by May 15, 2006. After that date, no further extension is contemplated.
May 9 2006Request for extension of time filed
  to file respondent's brief. (3rd request)
May 17 2006Extension of time granted
  to June 29, 2006 to file the respondent's brief. After that date, no further extension will be granted. Extension is granted based upon Deputy Attorney General Xiomara Costello's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by June 29, 2006.
Jun 29 2006Respondent's brief filed
  (27,264 words; 99 pp.)
Jun 29 2006Note:
  appellant's reply brief due: August 28, 2006.
Aug 21 2006Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's reply brief. (1st request)
Aug 24 2006Extension of time granted
  to October 27, 2006 to file appellant's reply brief.
Oct 23 2006Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's reply brief. (2nd request)
Oct 26 2006Extension of time granted
  to December 26, 2006 to file the appellant's reply brief. After that date, only three further extensions totaling about 150 additional days are contemplated. Extension is granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that he anticipates filing that brief by May 2007.
Dec 19 2006Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's reply brief. (3rd request)
Dec 26 2006Extension of time granted
  to February 26, 2007 to file appellant's reply brief. After that date, only two further extensions totaling about 90 additional days are contemplated. Extension is granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that he anticipates filing that brief by May 2007.
Feb 20 2007Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's reply brief. (4th request)
Feb 22 2007Extension of time granted
  to April 27, 2007 to file appellant's reply brief. After that date, only one further extension totaling about 30 additional days is contemplated. Extension is granted based upon Senior Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by May 2007.
Apr 23 2007Request for extension of time filed
  to file appellant's reply brief. (5th request)
Apr 27 2007Extension of time granted
  to May 29, 2007 to file the appellant's reply brief. After that date, no further extension will be granted. Extension is granted based upon Deputy State Public Defender Evan Young's representation that she anticipates filing that brief by May 29, 2007.
May 29 2007Appellant's reply brief filed
  (7,640 words; 33 pp.)
Sep 27 2007Exhibit(s) lodged
  from LASC: People's Exhibits 8 & 9
Nov 9 2007Oral argument letter sent
  advising counsel that the court could schedule this case for argument as early as the January 2008 calendar, to be held the week of January 7, 2008, in San Francisco. The advisement of "focus issues," notification that two counsel are required, and any request for oral argument time in excess of 30 minutes must be submitted to the court within 10 days of the order setting the case for argument.
Dec 4 2007Case ordered on calendar
  Tuesday, January 8, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., in San Francisco
Dec 13 2007Filed:
  appellant's focus issue letter, dated December 13, 2007.
Dec 13 2007Received:
  appearance sheet from Sr. Deputy SPD, Evan Young, indicating 30 minutes for oral argument for appellant.
Dec 17 2007Filed:
  declaration of service for focus letter sent to appellant by State P.D.
Dec 17 2007Filed:
  respondent's focus issue letter, dated December 11, 2007.
Dec 17 2007Received:
  appearance sheet from Deputy Attorney General, Xiomara Costello, indicating 30 minutes for oral argument for respondent.
Jan 8 2008Cause argued and submitted
 
Mar 26 2008Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
 
Mar 27 2008Opinion filed: Judgment affirmed in full
  opinion by Chin, J -----joined by George, Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ Concurring opinion by Werdegar, J
Apr 11 2008Rehearing petition filed
  by the State Public Defender. (2,295 words; 9 pp.)
Apr 15 2008Time extended to consider modification or rehearing
  The time for granting or denying rehearing in the above-entitled case is hereby extended to and including June 25, 2008, or the date upon which rehearing is either granted or denied, whichever occurs first.
Jun 11 2008Rehearing denied
 
Jun 11 2008Remittitur issued (AA)
 
Jun 11 2008Exhibit(s) returned
  to Los Angeles County Superior Court. People's exhibits no. 8 and 9 .
Jun 13 2008Received:
  copy of appellant's petition for writ of certiorari. (15 pp. excluding appendices)
Jun 18 2008Received:
  receipt for remittitur.
Jun 27 2008Received:
  acknowledgment of receipt of people's exhibits no's. 8 and 9 from Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Aug 28 2008Related habeas corpus petition filed (post-judgment)
  No. S166315
Oct 9 2008Received:
  letter from USSC, dated October 6, 2008, advising that a petition for writ of certiorari was filed on June 12, 2008 and placed on the docket October 6, 2008 as No. 08-6623.
Jan 12 2009Certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court
 

Briefs
Sep 15 2005Appellant's opening brief filed
 
Jun 29 2006Respondent's brief filed
 
May 29 2007Appellant's reply brief filed
 
If you'd like to submit a brief document to be included for this opinion, please submit an e-mail to the SCOCAL website