People v Sanchez
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.
Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer