Supreme Court of California

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People v. Hernandez, S178823

In a prosecution for attempted murder in which the trial court erred by prohibiting the defendant's attorney from discussing an accomplice's sealed declaration with the defendant or any other person, the court of appeal's conclusion that the error violated the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel without any showing of resulting prejudice is reversed and the case remanded, where: 1) the trial court's order implicated only that aspect of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel defining the right to a fair trial guaranteed through the due process clause, and a violation of that aspect of the Sixth Amendment is not "complete" until the defendant is prejudiced; and 2) a presumption of prejudice was not justified, and the error was reversible only upon a showing of prejudice.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 04/19/2012
  • Published 04/19/2012


  • Werdegar


  • Supreme Court of California


  • For Appellant:
  • Marc J. Zilversmit, Amy Haddix