182 Cal.App.2d Supp. 837, 4321, People v. Harris

Docket Nº:4321
Citation:182 Cal.App.2d Supp. 837, 5 Cal.Rptr. 852
Party Name:People v. Harris
Case Date:June 10, 1960
Court:Superior Court of California
 
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Page 837

182 Cal.App.2d Supp. 837

5 Cal.Rptr. 852

PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

Irene HARRIS, Defendant and Appellant.

Cr. A. 4321.

Superior Court of California, Appellate Division, Los Angeles County

June 10, 1960.

As Corrected Jan. 16, 1961.

Page 838

Don H. Terry, Pasadena, for appellant.

Byron B. Gentry, City Prosecutor, Pasadena, for respondent.

A. L. Wirin, Fred Okrand and Rhoda Gordon, Los Angeles, amici curiae.

HULS, Judge.

This and ten other cases (CR A 4322 to 4331) are cognate cases (CR A 4322, 4327 and 4330 being appeals from judgments of conviction of violation of Penal Code, § 330 (gambling), and the other eight, from judgments of conviction of violation of Pasadena Ordinance No. 453-3 1/2 (knowingly being present at a place where gambling was being conducted).) The facts of the gambling (playing '21' for money) and being present thereat, were stipulated to, provided that the defendants be permitted to make an offer of proof as to the constitutional question of deliberate and intentional discrimination and unequal treatment in the enforcement of the applicable statute and ordinance, by reason of race and color. 'Offers of proof' were made by defendants and argued to the court, which rejected the offers and found each defendant guilty as charged, and fined each $26.25. (Clerk's Tr. p. 1 for 1/5/60).

From all the trial court's comments in the transcript (especially Tr. 18), we believe that he rejected the offers because

Page 839

he was of the opinion that the evidence if admitted would not prove intentional and deliberate discriminatory enforcement, 'even though there may be some slight inference even on the very small scale the offer of proof is made, it falls far short of showing deliberate, intentional, discriminatory practice.' (Tr. 17).

We are not considering the affidavits brought up to us on respondent's motion to augment the record, for the reason that there is nothing in the record to show that they were before the trial court which heard the evidence and the offers of proof. The contents of the affidavits might have become the subject of evidence in rebuttal by the prosecution had the court determined that any or all of the offers of proof should have been granted. The real questions before us are as to the admissibility of such evidence, not as to its ultimate weight or effect, and whether the trial court committed prejudicial error in rejecting them.

The offers of proof were:

1. Racial population figures and percentages in Pasadena.

2. Record of Pasadena gambling arrests showing for the year 1957, 16 white persons arrested, 276 negroes; 1958, 9 white, 82 negroes; 1959, all persons arrested negroes.

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