Thursday, May 23, 2013

People v. Sanchez case brief

People v. Sanchez case brief 
114 Cal.Rptr.2d 437

CASE SYNOPSIS: Criminal defendant appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of Siskiyou County, California, convicting him on seven counts of animal cruelty, Cal. Penal Code § 597 (b), and one count of dissuading a witness, Cal. Penal Code § 136.1 (c)(1). He challenged six of the counts of animal cruelty.

FACTS: Defendant owned some property where he kept a variety of animals, including dogs, cows, rabbits, ducks, geese, and chickens. Defendant lived on the property with his wife and their children. The family often left their property for up to two weeks without making any arrangements for the care of their animals. Defendant was convicted of seven counts of animal cruelty. Before the reviewing court, defendant claimed the trial court's failure to give a unanimity instruction required reversal of six counts of animal cruelty. The appellate court agreed with him as to count 7. This count was subject to reversal, as the evidence established two discrete criminal events of cruelty to dogs, each sufficient to support a conviction under Cal. Penal Code § 597 (b), and separately punishable under Cal. Penal Code § 654, and each subject to a different possible defense. Failure to give a unanimity instruction was reversible error.

CONCLUSION: The judgment was affirmed in part and reversed in part.

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