- April 26, 2017
- by Ben Adams
The Santa Rosa CA criminal defense attorney at the law firm of Adams Fietz have reviewed the case of People v. Sanford, filed April 21, 2017. In this criminal case, the California Court of Appeal reversed a conviction, finding insufficient evidence supported the conviction.
To evaluate a claim that a conviction lacks sufficient evidence, ‘the Court reviews the whole record to determine whether . . . [there is] substantial evidence to support the verdict . . . such that a reasonable trier of fact could find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In applying this test, the Court reviews the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution and presume in support of the judgment the existence of every fact the jury could reasonably have deduced from the evidence.’
Reversal is required only if it appears “that upon no hypothesis whatever is there sufficient substantial evidence to support the conviction. Given this deferential standard of review, a “defendant bears an enormous burden in claiming there is insufficient evidence” to support a conviction. Nevertheless, “substantial evidence,” that is, evidence that is “ ‘ “reasonable . . ., credible, and of solid value” ’ ” is required, not just any evidence.
In particular, a reasonable inference from the evidence “may not be based on suspicion alone, or on imagination, speculation, supposition, surmise, conjecture, or guesswork. A finding of fact must be an inference drawn from evidence rather than . . . a mere speculation as to probabilities without evidence.”
The Sonoma County criminal defense lawyer at Adams Fietz offer free consultations on all criminal matters.