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In re Peter Sakarias on Habeas Corpus

Supreme Court of California
106 P.3d 931 (2005)


Facts

Sakarias (defendant) and Waidla were charged with murder. Sakarias was found incompetent and the cases of the codefendants were severed. The evidence indicated that Waidla had struck the fatal blow and that Sakarias had struck blows after the victim’s death. At each defendant’s trial, the prosecutor portrayed the defendant on trial as having inflicted all of the victim’s wounds. Both defendants were convicted and petitioned the state supreme court for habeas corpus on grounds that the prosecutor had presented inconsistent theories.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Werdegar, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Baxter, J.)

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