The Appellate Group

State v. Garcia

State v. Garcia, 2024 UT App 38 (Luthy, J.)


Defendant appealed his convictions for various sex crimes asserting his counsel provided ineffective assistance. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding in part: 

  • Counsel’s failure to ensure the jury was properly instructed regarding its unanimity obligation was not prejudicial because it is highly unlikely the jury believed the victim’s allegations of rape and not the allegations of sexual abuse.
  • Counsel’s failure to object to hearsay was not prejudicial because the jury could reasonably infer the victim told others about the allegations before trial.
  • Practice tip: The court rejected the prejudicial bolstering effect of cumulative evidence and concluded instead that cumulative evidence is harmless under most circumstances.

Read the full court opinion