Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,600+ case briefs...

People v. Stringham

California Court for Appeal for the First District
206 Cal. App. 3d 184 (1988)


Guy Stringham (defendant), along with others, beat and abducted Paul Snipes for allegedly stealing from them. Stringham participated in the beating and handed a gun to a friend, who killed Snipes. Stringham was originally charged with murder by torture, a capital offense. However, the prosecutor agreed to accept a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter, because he believed he would not be able to get testimony from two important witnesses, including a detective who elicited Stringham’s confession, but who subsequently had a heart attack. Snipes’s family strongly rejected the plea bargain and accused the prosecutor and judge of bias. A new judge, Judge Buffington, was brought in from another county to handle the case. A hearing was conducted on January 23, 1987, during which Snipes’s father was permitted to read a statement in which he ardently opposed the plea bargain and said that Stringham was a murderer and should be prosecuted as one. Judge Buffington told Snipes he could write a letter to the court including any further comments that would also be considered in the sentencing decision. The matter was rescheduled for January 30, when both parties requested acceptance of the plea bargain. The prosecutor outlined various obstacles to a murder conviction; however, Judge Buffington decided that the case should still be tried. Stringham was convicted of second-degree murder and kidnapping, and given consecutive sentences. Stringham appealed, arguing that it was inappropriate for Snipes’s father to make a statement at the hearing, because it was not yet a technical sentencing hearing at which next of kin have a right to be heard. Stringham also challenged the content of Snipes’s father's comments, complaining that they were inflammatory and distracting in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Poche, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,600 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial