Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tapia v. Superior Court case brief

Tapia v. Superior Court case brief summary
807 P.2d 434 (1991)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner accused sought review of an order from a Court of Appeal for the Superior Court of Tulare County (California), which denied his writ of mandate, in which he sought to have an order of the trial court vacated. The trial court held that the Crime Victims Justice Reform Act would apply to voir dire during his trial for first degree murder with special circumstances.

CASE FACTS
Shortly after the Crime Victims Justice Reform Act (Act) took effect, the trial court ruled that it would apply the Act to the voir dire portion of petitioner accused's trial for first degree murder with special circumstances. The appellate court denied petitioner's writ of mandate, seeking to have the trial court's order vacated.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed, holding that those portions of the Act which applied to trials of criminal cases, where the offense was committed before the effective date of the Act, were prospective, not retrospective. 
  • The court held that they were prospective because they addressed conduct in the future.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the denial of petitioner accused writ of mandate to vacate an order that the Crime Victims Justice Reform Act (Act) would apply to voir dire during his trial for first degree murder with special circumstances. Those portions of the Act which applied to trials of criminal cases, where the offense was committed before the effective date of the Act, were prospective, not retrospective as they addressed conduct in the future.


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