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Anonymous Tip and Snapchat Were Reasonable Suspicion for School Search

Who is more stupid -- the student who takes a gun to school, or the one who posts a video of it on social media?

In this case, that would be the same kid. Fortunately for him, police confiscated the weapon and he became a ward of the court and not a statistic in People v. K.J.

Meanwhile, his attorney argued that the police searched the boy without reasonable suspicion. So, who is more stupid...?

The California Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a Black Lives Matter protester who was arrested for getting between arresting officers and an arrestee. Jasmine Nicole Richardson was arrested for pulling an arrestee away from the officers during a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Richardson was ultimately convicted of attempting to take a person from lawful police custody by means of riot, a felony.

Richardson appealed the conviction on a few grounds, but was only successful on one. Unfortunately for Richardson, the one claim the appellate court went for only involved the trial court's failure to include a jury instruction for a lesser included charge, which trial courts are required to do when the lesser charge is wholly within the larger charge. In reversing the conviction, the appellate court remanded the matter for either retrial, or simply resentencing based on the lesser charge Richardson alleged should have been submitted to the jury.

Photo, Close Enough to Identify CVS Clerk Selling Alcohol to Minor

Yesterday, you smiled for "Candid Camera." Today, you smile for a selfie.

In any generation, however, you really don't smile for a police officer who is taking your picture. That was the case for a CVS clerk caught selling alcohol to a minor in Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board.

Police had sent the teenager into the store as a decoy, then asked the clerk and the boy -- beer in hand -- to pose for a photo. That was good enough for identification, said California's Third District Court of Appeal.

'Booster Bag' Not a Burglary Tool, Court Rules

When a shoplifter stoops to stealing clothes, you gotta feel a little sorry for him or her.

And when he falls to the ground convulsing, it's almost a tragedy. But when it turns out he used a special bag to get the merchandise through electronic sensors, that's a different story.

And so a jury convicted the California man of burglary, grand theft, and possessing burglary tools. The Second District Court of Appeal reversed the "tools" conviction, but compassion had nothing to do with it.

Court: Ankle Monitor Data Is Not Hearsay

Little did we know that robots found a way around hearsay decades ago.

Judge Thomas Hastings knew it then. He was pondering a hearsay objection to computer records being offered into evidence.

"This is a very hypertechnical objection," he said in People v. Hawkins. "[T]he problem in this analysis is simply this: There is no declarant. The declarant is the computer. It's not a person."

Records admitted, and that's how computers first got around the hearsay rule. Now they have taken another step in People v. Rodriguez.

New California Laws Ease Fines, Punishment for Juveniles

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed 11 crime bills aimed at lowering fines and punishments for juveniles and other offenders.

Most of the legislation helps young people charged with crimes, including one bill that limits counties and cities from collecting fees from families with children in juvenile detention. Parents and guardians will no longer be charged for juvenile hall expenses, such as housing, food, drugs, tests and transportation.

Lawmakers said juvenile penalties and fines have mostly affected low-income and minority families. The legislation follows a recent pattern in the Golden State to help people who are "paying more for being poor."

Police License Plate Scans May Be Disclosed

Did you hear the one about the guy who was caught cheating when a traffic cam snapped his photo with another woman in the car?

That's not this case, but it has a cross-over issue. Los Angeles police use high-speed cameras to scan license plates and then catch drivers who are involved in crimes. They scan about 1.8 million license plates a week.

But what to do about the privacy of all those people who are not criminals? That's the question the state Supreme Court sent to a trial judge to consider.

Foie Gras Banned in California -- Again

Unless you are a specialty chef, you may not care whether the liver pate you prepare comes from a duck or a goose.

The ducks and the geese certainly don't have an opinion on the subject of "foie gras," which is the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened.

But the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals say foie gras comes from force-feeding the birds to make their livers swell up to 10 times their normal size. A federal appeals court said that's against the law in California.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal for the state of California has issued a ruling that, at first blush, appears to disregard the recent ruling of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on a nearly identical issue. At issue in the People v. Sandee case is whether a warrantless search of a probationer's cell phone is valid under the Fourth Amendment waiver that probationers consent to as a prerequisite to being granted probation.

The California appellate court explained that under California law, and precedent set by the California supreme court, probationers should expect that their Fourth Amendment waiver will allow a cell phone to be searched attendant to a probation search.

In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 66 which sought to speed up the time between a death penalty conviction and sentence and the actual execution. Most notably, Prop. 66 imposed a mandatory five-year deadline for the California courts to finish a capital appeal. Almost immediately after passing, opponents filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the proposition, and specifically, that five-year deadline.

After reviewing the challenge, the California Supreme Court issued their ruling, in Briggs v. Brown, effectively striking down the five-year deadline (at least for the time being), while upholding other portions of the proposition.