A jury convicted the defendant of first-degree murder and rape and found true the special circumstance allegations that the murder was committed in the commission of the rape, the defendant personally used a deadly weapon, and the defendant served a prior prison term. The jury set the penalty at death. The Los Angeles County Superior Court, California, denied the defendant's motions for a new trial and for modification of the sentence. The appeal was automatic.

The jury found true the allegation that the defendant committed the crime of murder of the first degree in the commission of rape. On appeal, the defendant contended, inter alia, that the verdict form was fatally ambiguous because it was unclear whether the jury found him guilty of first-degree murder on a rape-felony-murder theory, Cal. Penal Code § 189, or whether it found true the rape-felony-murder special circumstance, Cal. Penal Code § 190.2(a)(17)(C). The court found that any error in this regard was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The california employment law attorney will assist you in all Employment law cases.

The jury found in its verdict that the defendant committed the murder in the commission of rape. To find the rape-felony-murder special-circumstance allegation true, they needed to find that defendant had an independent purpose for the commission of the rape. Defendant tied the victim's hands and feet, had intercourse with her and ejaculated inside her, and had done the same thing previously to someone else whom he did not kill. There was no reasonable doubt that the rape was not merely incidental to the victim's murder. Clearly, the defendant obtained perverse sexual gratification from raping the mothers of his girlfriends, whether or not he killed them.

The judgment was affirmed in its entirety.

At the insistence of the Bar Association of San Francisco (California), an accusation was made for the disbarment of an attorney.

The attorney was accused of having entered into a scheme with another lawyer, who was representing a client in a criminal matter, to sell the client's confession to the newspapers. Although the sale was not made, the newspapers printed the fact that the attempt to do so had been made. The Association charged that the attorney violated his oath of office and duty as an attorney, and sought his disbarment. The court held that the Association's accusation was in the nature of a criminal charge, thus all intendments were in favor of the accused attorney. The court held that construction that was favorable to innocence had to be given to the facts if possible, which indicated no more than the attorney was willing to procure the confession. Further, the court held that the attorney was not acting as counsel in a criminal case, and he was not employed because of his professional character, and not every reprehensible transaction was grounds for disbarment. Finally, in general, the attorney could not be disbarred for an act that constituted a crime that involved moral turpitude, but outside of his professional duty, until he was tried and convicted.

The accusation was dismissed.

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