California v. DouglasAnnotate this Case
After defendant Brady Dee Douglas’s former boyfriend, a male prostitute, told him victim Jeffrey B. had shorted him money following a prearranged sexual encounter, defendant and codefendant Clifton Sharpe tracked down Jeffrey and demanded payment. During a high-speed chase, defendant pointed a gun at Jeffrey and shot at his car several times. A jury found defendant guilty of attempted second degree robbery, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, shooting at an occupied vehicle, exhibiting a firearm against a person in a vehicle, and carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony, and found true certain firearm enhancements. The trial court sentenced defendant to prison for six years. On appeal, defendant contended the trial court erred in denying his Batson/Wheeler motion after the prosecutor peremptorily excused the only two openly gay prospective jurors. He also argued the trial court erroneously instructed the jury with CALCRIM No. 460, the pattern jury instruction for attempt, which he asserts was unconstitutionally vague and impermissibly creates a mandatory presumption of intent. The Court of Appeal initially rejected defendant’s instructional challenge, but found the trial court did not properly evaluate defendant’s Batson/Wheeler motion. The Court ordered a remand for the trial court to apply a mixed-motive analysis to the prosecutor’s proffered reasons to determine whether those veniremen would have been challenged regardless of their sexuality. The Court then granted defendant’s rehearing petition and obtained supplemental briefing by the parties and by amici curiae. After review, the Court of Appeal reversed for a new trial “before a jury uninfected by discrimination.” In light of this holding, the Court did not address defendant’s instructional challenge again.