Tuesday, February 15, 2022

People v. Reynoza (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 14, 2022)

The Court of Appeal reverses Raymond Reynoza's conviction for dissuading a witness on the grounds of insufficient evidence.  That's a fairly huge win for the guy.  It means he's released from prison and can't be retried, right?

Except for one thing -- something not mentioned anywhere in the opinion.  Mr. Reynoza was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison in 2019.  It's now 2022.  They guy's already out.  With the various extensions of time for the filing of briefs and the reporter's transcripts, the appeal didn't even get heard (much less decided) until pretty much everything was basically already mooted by the passage of time.

Does that make the appeal moot?  No.  Not legally.  It would still (potentially) count as a strike if Mr. Reynoza was convicted of anything in the future, he might still be supervised after his release, etc.

Nonetheless, as a practical matter, even a "huge win" by Mr. Reynoza in the Court of Appeal isn't all that huge after all.  He might not have (legally) done the crime, but already served his time.