Monday, April 30, 2007

People v. Crandall (Cal. Supreme Ct. - April 30, 2007)

Sometimes a unanimous opinion of the California Supreme Court is actually a 4-3. Like here.

Everyone agrees that the decision here should be affirmed and that the trial court properly sentenced defendant to pay $2600 in restitution. Hence, everyone joins Justice Werdegar's majority opinion.

But this one's also a twofer. Because Justice Baxter, joined by Justices Chin and Corrigan, also writes separately to say how they'd decide a hypothetical case -- not present here -- involving different facts. Justice Werdegar's opinion says that, here, X and Y existed. and hence that the restitution order was proper. Justice Baxter agrees, but writes separately to slo say that he'd vote to affirm even if only X existed. And that he's got at least two other votes for that position.

So two decisions in one. One unanimous, one much more closely split.