People v. TorresAnnotate this Case
After the trial court admitted a witness's former testimony, the Court of Appeal applied People v. Roldan (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 969, 975–985, and reversed. Roldan held that, before invoking the former testimony exception, prosecutors should react appropriately to the impending deportation risk by following four steps: alert the defense to the risk; videotape the preliminary hearing testimony; use judicial measures to try to delay deportation; and consider an array of other specific measures.
In this case, the prosecution conceded that prosecutors were simply unaware of Roldan and did not comply with it. The court held that Roldan controls the court's analysis because the facts about prosecutorial diligence are weaker here than they were in Roldan, where the appellate court held for the defense. In this case, the record before deportation is of prosecutorial inaction where the prosecution's brief in this court admits the investigating officer did not do anything to ensure that the witness would not be deported, nor is there other evidence of prosecutorial efforts to delay the witness's departure or to videotape his testimony at the preliminary hearing.