Evidence keyed to Waltz
People v. Gardeley
Mr. Bruno, the victim, was driving a car with friends when he stopped to urinate. While he was out of the car, he was approached by the defendants. The defendants, members of the Family Crip gang, severely beat the victim and stole a wristwatch, gold neck chain, and $30. Police officers later arrested the defendants after stopping them for speeding and making an illegal u-turn. The defendants were charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and assault or battery. The offenses were alleged to have been committed “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang.” The California Legislature enacted the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (“STEP Act”) in 1988. The purpose of the STEP Act was to end the criminal activity of street gangs. A criminal street gang is defined as any ongoing association of three or more persons that share a common name or common identifying sign or symbol, has as one of its primary activities the commission of specified criminal offenses, and engages in a pattern of criminal gang activity. The trial court imposed increased sentences on the defendants because the jury determined the prosecution met the STEP Act standards. The prosecution called Detective Patrick Boyd (“Detective Boyd”), a member of the San Jose Police Department, as a witness to offer his opinion regarding the gang activity of the defendants. Detective Boyd was given a hypothetical based on the facts of the assault, and was asked if in his expert opinion this attack would be gang related activity. Detective Boyd responded that it was. The jury convicted the defendants of three offenses and found that they were committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang. The Court of Appeals reversed because Detective Boyd’s opinion was not based on facts in evidence and he had no personal knowledge of the facts underlying the incidents.
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