Thursday, January 10, 2013

In Re VIcks **ORAL ARGUMENT*** 1/8/2013 - Wait and See

IN RE VICKS  195 Cal.App.4th 475 (2011)
In re MICHAEL VICKS on Habeas Corpus.  No. D056998.
Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division One.  May 11, 2011.

Attorney Steve M. Defilippis, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Petitioner Michael Vicks.

Background Summary: 

In 1983, Michael Vicks was convicted of two counts of rape in concert, two counts of forcible oral copulation in concert, three counts of kidnapping, one count of kidnapping to commit robbery, and multiple counts of robbery. Vicks was sentenced to a total term of 37+ years to LIFE. Vicks, now 51 years old, has been incarcerated for more than 28 years.

At Vicks's first parole hearing, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) found him unsuitable for parole.  The BPH further concluded a five-year denial of parole was appropriate under the circumstances.
Vicks petitioned the trial court for a writ of habeas corpus, but the court denied the writ, concluding the BPH's decision was supported by some evidence. Vicks then petitioned the Appellate court for a writ of habeas corpus. Vicks asserts the BPH's decision to deny parole violated due process in 2 ways:

1) its conclusion that he posed an unreasonable risk of danger to society if released on parole was contrary to the only reliable evidence that he was not currently dangerous.
2) He also asserts the imposition of a five-year (Marsy’s Law. Prop 9) cannot be applied to him without violating ex post facto principles.

Although the Court concluded the BPH's decision to deny parole was supported by some evidence!
The Court also concluded that the application of  Marsy's Law violates ex post facto principles.

**** SUPREME COURT ORAL ARGUMENT  Marsy's Law (Prop9) Heard 1/8/2013 ****

Current California Supreme Court 7 Justices:
(left to right) Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan, Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard, Associate Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (middle), Associate Justice Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter, and Associate Justice Goodwin Liu.

Quick Summary of the Oral argument as edited by Lifer criminal defense Attorney Diane Letarte:


Justice Liu seemed to be our biggest LIFER advocate, while Justice Corrigan appeared to be clearly on the other side (no surprise given her 1983-1986 Position as Special Consultant, President’s Task Force on Victims of Violent Crime, 1982.)

Other justices were on the fence while other were hard to read. 

The California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye was sworn into office on January 3, 2011 is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s Chief Justice. She could go either way.

Of course, you never really can call these Oral argument cases, so we'll just have to wait & see for the official written OPINION.

Case opinions of the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are available on this website.


(A Personal thanks to the In re Vicks' Attorney who argued the case on 1/8/2013 - Steve M. Defilippis, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Petitioner Michael Vicks.)