From our private database of 35,400+ case briefs...
People v. Deere
California Supreme Court
808 P.2d 1181 (1991)
Ronald Deere (defendant), upset by a deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend, shot and killed the husband and two children of his girlfriend’s sister. Deere was charged with first- and second-degree murder. After a psychiatric examination, Deere was found competent and pleaded guilty. Deere waived a jury trial and offered no mitigating evidence in the penalty phase other than to express remorse for his crimes. Deere’s counsel explained to the court that he argued with Deere about the guilty plea, jury waiver, and decision not to offer mitigating evidence, but Deere believed that to call mitigating witnesses would cheapen his relationship with his family and remove his last vestige of dignity. The decisions were based on Deere’s desires, and counsel did not believe he had a right to infringe on Deere’s decisions about his life. The court imposed the death penalty. On appeal, Deere claimed that his counsel’s failure to present mitigating evidence in the penalty phase deprived him of effective assistance of counsel. The penalty was reversed. At the penalty retrial, defense counsel again waived a jury and failed to present mitigating evidence. Counsel explained that Deere had never wavered in his desire that no mitigating evidence be presented and it would be a gross conflict of interest for counsel to comply with the court’s order that he either offer mitigating evidence or state there was none. The trial court held counsel in contempt for failing to obey the order to present mitigating evidence and sentenced Deere to death. The contempt order and sentence were stayed, and an independent attorney was appointed to present a case in mitigation. The new attorney presented six witnesses in mitigation and argued that Deere’s life should be spared because of his artistic talent and the psychological stress Deere was under when he committed his crimes. The court resentenced Deere to death. On appeal, Deere argued that counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to present evidence in mitigation.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Arabian, J.)
Concurrence (Mosk, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 617,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 617,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,400 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.