Monday, February 05, 2007

People v. Smith (Cal. Supreme Ct. - Feb. 5, 2007)

Sometimes good news isn't really all that good. So, for example, take what attorney Scott F. Kauffman might have told his client after the California Supreme Court's opinion in this case:

"Robert, I've got some great news for you: I got your conviction reversed! Congratulations! Justice Moreno held that you couldn't be convicted of receiving stolen property for that gun in your possession, and the rest of the justices agreed with him. So goodbye conviction!

Now, to be totally honest, the California Attorney General's Office conceded that point. Also, the only reason you're conviction on that count was reversed is because you couldn't be convicted of receiving stolen property when you were also convicted of actually stealing that property -- you can't simultaneously be punished for both. So I guess the win was pretty easy.

Still, that's two years off your sentence! How about that, my friend?

Oh, I almost forgot. One more thing. About that first degree murder conviction, all the other convictions, and the resulting death sentence? The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed all those. Sorry."