People v Sanchez
Criminal Other Education Government US Courts
Summary: In ruling in People v Sanchez the Court held that an expert cannot relate case-specific hearsay to explain the basis for his or her opinion unless the facts are independently proven or fall within a hearsay exception.
In People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665, yesterday the Court held that an expert cannot relate case-specific hearsay to explain the basis for his or her opinion unless the facts are independently proven or fall within a hearsay exception. The Court concluded that if the prosecution expert seeks to relate testimonial hearsay, the confrontation clause is violated unless there is a showing of unavailability and the defendant had a prior opportunity for cross-examination or forfeited that right. The Court granted review in Perez to determine whether a defendant’s failure to object at trial, before Sanchez was decided, forfeited a claim that a gang expert’s testimony related case-specific hearsay in violation of the confrontation clause.
Decision: The Cal Supremes decided that a defense counsel’s failure to object under such circumstances does not forfeit a claim based upon Sanchez. Accordingly, the Court resurrected Perez’ Sanchez claim from appellate court issue graveyard where it was relegated Court of Appeal here, which reached the opposite conclusion.
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