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Double Murder Conviction Reversed

People v. Wycoff Docket: S178669, Opinion Date: August 23, 2021. The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's convictions of two counts of first-degree murder, holding that the district court erred in failing to initiate the competency procedures set forth in Cal. Penal Code 1368 and 1369. During pretrial proceedings and at the request of the court, a psychologist examined Defendant and issued a report finding Defendant incompetent to stand trial. The trial court rejected the psychologist's opinion without initiating the competency procedures set forth in sections 1368 and 1369. At both the guilt and penalty phases of trial, Defendant represented himself. Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment in its entirety, holding that the trial court erred by failing to initiate the formal competency procedures set forth in sections 1368 and 1369.

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