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People v. Tran, S211329

In a case concerning the language in the statutory scheme for extending the involuntary commitment of a person originally committed after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI) to a criminal offense, Pen. Code section 1026.5(b)(3)-(4), this court holds that this language has the same meaning as the parallel language in the mentally disordered offender (MDO) statute, namely: The trial court must advise the NGI defendant personally of his or her right to a jury trial and, before holding a bench trial, must obtain a personal waiver of that right from the defendant unless the court finds substantial evidence that the defendant lacks the capacity to make a knowing and voluntary waiver, in which case defense counsel controls the waiver decision. Here, the trial court erred in completely denying an NGI defendant his statutory right to a jury trial, and the error constitutes a miscarriage of justice and automatically requires reversal.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 08/17/2015
  • Published 08/17/2015


  • LIU


  • Supreme Court of California