Legal Memorandum on Rogers V. Wycoff Case

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Legal Memorandum on Rogers v. Wycoff case

From: Jamshid AKHMEDOV
To: Therese KEELAGHAN
Date: November 5, 2012

1) Relevant facts:
Defendant: Edward Wycoff, 40
Defense attorney: Defendant acts as his own attorney
Victims: Julie Rogers, 47 and Paul Rogers, 47
Plaintiff attorney: Deputy District Attorney Mark Peterson Witness (also a Victim): Victims’ son Eric Rogers, 20
Witness’ attorney: Tedd W. Cassman
Judge: Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge John W. Kennedy

Defendant Wycoff murdered his sister and brother-in-law, El Cerrito attorneys Julie and Paul Rogers. Victims were stabbed and bludgeoned to death with a knife and wheelbarrow handle. A jury convicted Wycoff of murders and he is going to be sentenced by death penalty. Victims’ son Eric Rogers want to testify in court against death penalty for defendant.

2) Issue of law:
Whether Victim Eric Rogers can testify about his wishes regarding defendant’s penalty?

3) Rule of law:
Applicable legislation:
• California State Constitution, Article 1 Declaration of rights, Sec. 28, b8: • US Supreme Court’s decision on Payne v. Tennessee case (1991)

4) Application of law to fact:
In our case Victim Eric Rogers wants to testify at sentencing stage, which is his right according to point b8, Sec. 28, Article 1 of California State Constitution which says that in order to preserve and protect victim’s rights to justice and due process, a victim shall be entitled to the list of rights among which is the right to be heard, upon request, at any proceedings, including any delinquency proceedings, involving a post-arrest release decision, plea, sentencing, post-conviction release decision, or any proceedings in which a right of the victim is at issue. Defense attorney may argue based on two precedents of US Supreme Court - Booth v. Maryland (1987) and South Carolina v. Gathers (1989) and state that this testimony is irrelevant to the crime...
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