Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

Creech v. Frauenheim, No. 13-16709 [August 31, 2015]

Creech v. Frauenheim

Creech challenged his convictions for assault with a firearm and child endangerment alleging his Fourteenth Amendment Due Process rights were violated because the evidence was insufficient and that California’s determinate sentencing law violates the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. Using the “twice-deferential standard” under AEDPA the Court found it was not unreasonable for a state court to determine that a rational trier of fact could have found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges particularly the element of present ability where Creech used a shotgun to shoot bird shot at a house he reasonable knew was occupied and given that an assault does not require that a victim suffers an injury. Further, as to the child endangerment the prosecution established a likelihood of great bodily harm to support a conviction. The court rejected the challenge to the California determinate sentencing laws as amended because it now allows the judge to “exercise broad discretion” to choose the appropriate term, instead of the previous presumption of the middle term as a sentence absence finding of factors to support an aggravated or mitigated term and that holding was not contrary nor an unreasonable application of Supreme Court law.

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