This case was decided in the darkest days of the California Supreme Court. See People v. Weidert, 39 Cal.3d 836, 705 P.2d 380 (1985). Cal. Supreme in those days bent over backward to resolve every conceivable issue -- and some inconceivable ones -- in favor of murderers. Weidert was 17 1/2 at the time of the crime, and the court held that the circumstance of killing a witness to prevent his testimony in a criminal proceeding did not apply to a person who at least initially would have been in juvenile court for the underlying burglary.
CJLF filed an amicus brief to argue against this anomalous result. (Not me, that was before my time here.) Justice Lucas agreed with our position, as did Justice Mosk, but the court was so stacked against the law-abiding public at the time that the decision went 5-2 the other way.
Fourteen months later, the people of California tossed out three of the justices for their consistent tilt in favor of criminals. That vote and the consequent vast improvement in the California Supreme Court remains to this day one of the strongest arguments against life tenure for judges.