At its October 1, 2013 conference, the Washington Supreme granted review to four cases. We provide a summary of the issues presented in each case below.
Whether the Court of Appeals properly reversed a conviction for First Degree Trafficking in Stolen Property where:
- the trial court instructed the jury to consider seven alternative means of committing the crime;
- the trial court failed to either instruct the jury that they must reach unanimous agreement as to each alternative means or provide a special verdict form; and
- the appellate court determined that at least one of the alternative means was not supported by substantial evidence.
- Did Condon’s conviction for aggravated first-degree murder infringe his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process because it was based on insufficient evidence of premeditation?
- Did the trial judge’s refusal to instruct on second-degree intentional murder violate Condon’s Fourteenth Amendment right to due process and his state constitutional right to a jury trial?
State v. Mendes
Supreme Court No. 88945-7
Court of Appeals No. 42161-5-II
- Whether the trial court erred in declining defendant’s request for a ruling on whether defendant was entitled to self-defense instruction based on the State’s evidence alone, when such evidence established the defendant was the initial aggressor when he entered the decedent’s house uninvited, pointed a gun, and threatened to shoot the unarmed decedent.
- Whether the trial court compelled the defendant to testify by declining to rule whether the State’s evidence alone entitled him to a self-defense instruction, thereby violating the defendant’s constitutional rights to silence.
State v. Blazina
Supreme Court No. 89028-5
Court of Appeals No. 42728-1-II
- Whether a criminal defendant has shown good cause to overcome the presumption that juror information is private when the criminal defendant shows that jurors assume a defendant’s guilt based not on the prosecution’s evidence, but on the credibility of the defendant’s witnesses.
- Whether the trial court erred in finding that the defendant has the present or future ability to pay his legal financial obligations.