People v. Riley – 2/19/2015

People v. Riley

No. D059840 (opn 2/19/2015, petn for rev pending, S225382)

Year: 2015
Errors: Selective vs. Whole-Record Review
Court: 4th District, Div 1
Errors Found/Argued: Errors not found by another court

rileySummary: This case came back to the Court of Appeal on remand from the US Supreme Court (Riley v Cal.) after a finding that the warrantless search of an arrestee’s cell phone violated the 4th Amendment. The court found the 4th A violation was harmless error.  It properly stated review under the Chapman standard was appropriate but then misapplied the standard by ignoring defense-favorable evidence, including the facts that the first trial resulted in a hung jury and that the eyewitnesses to the shooting excluded D. Rather than conducting the analysis described in Chapman (requiring the court to review the entire record to determine whether the state proved the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt) , the court seemed to review the record for substantial evidence to support the conviction. This petition challenges the flawed process used by many CA appellate courts when conducting harmless error analysis under Chapman. Linked documents include an amicus letter supporting grant of review; the letter lists many recent examples of flawed Chapman analysis.

Document Links:
Opinion (Google Scholar)
Opinion (PDF)
Petition for Rehearing (PDF)
Petition for Review (PDF)
Amicus letter supporting review (PDF)
Motion for Judicial Notice (PDF)