The Traynor 2021 Problem and Record
A jury found Peter Prescott guilty of two counts of resisting a law enforcement officer by force or violence and the trial court sentenced him to concurrent six-year terms under the Three Strikes law.
On appeal, Prescott contends he was subjected to an illegal arrest, requiring reversal of his convictions. He also challenges the imposition of fines and fees imposed on him without providing him an opportunity to contest his ability to pay.
Two advocates will present oral argument for each team at the competition. For purposes of dividing the arguments, here is a suggested division of issues:
Does substantial evidence support the conclusion the arresting deputies were lawfully performing their duties for the purpose of Penal Code section 841? That question requires a discussion of whether (a) the deputies used excessive force when arresting Prescott; (b) whether Prescott used force or violence when resisting arrest and; (c) whether the jury was properly instructed on the requirement that the deputies be engaged in making a lawful arrest.
Must a court consider a defendant's ability to pay before it imposes court assessments, fines, and fees? If so, which party bears the burden of proof regarding the defendant's inability to pay?
When addressing the issues, you may refer to any relevant evidentiary claim that was preserved with an objection at trial.