Prop. 47 petition for resentencing should be filed in the original sentencing court

May 22, 2018 Leave a comment

Prop. 47 petition for resentencing should be filed in the original sentencing court

Proposition 47 lowered the penalty for several crimes and provided a mechanism for resentencing under the more lenient provisions. The resentencing statute provides that a person “may petition for a recall of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a).) Unrelated to the changes enacted by Proposition 47, if a defendant has been placed on probation in one county but permanently resides in another, the case may be transferred to the county of residence. (§ 1203.9.) The question here is where a defendant, whose probation case has been transferred, must file a petition for resentencing. We hold that the petition should be filed in the original sentencing court.

People v. Adelmann

S237602

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S237602.PDF

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Death penalty affirmed

May 21, 2018 Leave a comment

The Cal. Supremes affirmed another death penalty case.

People v. Smith

S065233

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S065233.PDF

Case remanded for a youth offender parole hearing

May 17, 2018 Leave a comment

Case remanded for a youth offender parole hearing

Defendants Edgar Octavio Barajas and Jesus Manuel Rodriguez were convicted in a joint trial of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and participation in a criminal street gang. The trial court sentenced each defendant to mandatory terms amounting to 50 years to life. We granted review to consider (1) whether the accomplice testimony in this case was sufficiently corroborated in light of People v. Romero and Self (2015) 62 Cal.4th 1, 36 (Romero and Self), and (2) whether defendants’ constitutional challenges to their 50-years-to-life sentences were rendered moot by recent legislation making them eligible for a youth offender parole hearing during their 25th year of incarceration (Pen. Code, §§ 3051, 4801), even though their cases were not remanded to the trial court to determine whether they had an adequate opportunity to make a record of factors relevant to their eventual parole determinations. (See People v. Franklin (2016) 63 Cal.4th 261, 283–284, 286 (Franklin).)
With respect to Barajas, the Attorney General concedes that the accomplice testimony was not sufficiently corroborated and that his convictions must be reversed. We agree with the Attorney General and therefore reverse Barajas’s convictions and remand with an order to enter a judgment of acquittal. Rodriguez raises only the second issue, and we conclude he is entitled to relief. We remand his case to the Court of Appeal to direct the trial court to provide him with an opportunity to make a record of information that Penal Code sections 3051 and 4801 deem relevant at a youth offender parole hearing. As in Franklin, Rodriguez’s constitutional challenge to his 50-years-to-life sentence is moot in light of the enactment of those statutes and our remand to facilitate proper discharge of the Board of Parole Hearings’ obligations under those statutes.

People v. Rodriguez

S239713

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S239713.PDF

Lab analysis fees and drug program fees apply for conspiracy to transport drugs

May 17, 2018 Leave a comment

Lab analysis fees and drug program fees apply for conspiracy to transport drugs

We granted review in this case to determine whether imposing a criminal laboratory analysis fee (Health & Saf. Code, § 11372.5, subd. (a)) and a drug program fee (Health & Saf. Code, § 11372.7, subd. (a)) is appropriate for a conviction of conspiracy to transport a controlled substance in violation of Health and Safety Code, section 11379, subdivision (a). The Court of Appeal answered this question in the affirmative based on Penal Code section 182, subdivision (a), which provides in relevant part that persons convicted of conspiring to commit a felony “shall be punishable in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided for the punishment of that felony.” In light of this provision, the court reasoned, because these fees must be imposed for a conviction of transporting a controlled substance, they must also be imposed for a conviction of conspiracy to transport a controlled substance. We agree with the Court of Appeal and affirm.

People v. Ruiz

S235556

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S235556.PDF

No new criminal cases today.

May 15, 2018 Comments off

Another death verdict affirmed

May 7, 2018 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes affirm another death verdict.

People v. Reed

S082776

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S082776.PDF

Prop. 36 ineligibility must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt but may rely on facts not found by a jury

May 7, 2018 Comments off

Prop. 36 ineligibility must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt but may rely on facts not found by a jury

Under the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Proposition 36), an inmate who has been sentenced under the “Three Strikes” law for a nonserious, nonviolent felony may petition the trial court for resentencing. (Pen. Code, § 1170.126, subd. (f), added by Prop. 36, as approved by voters, Gen. Elec. (Nov. 6, 2012); all statutory references are to the Penal Code.) Upon receiving such a petition, the trial court “shall determine whether the petitioner satisfies the criteria” as listed in the statute. (Ibid.) If the criteria are met, “the petitioner shall be resentenced . . . unless the court, in its discretion, determines that resentencing the petitioner would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” (Ibid.) This case involves one of the criteria for resentencing eligibility: the inmate must not have been “armed with a . . . deadly weapon” during “the commission of the current offense.” (§ 1170.12, subd. (c)(2)(C)(iii) (hereafter § 1170.12(c)(2)(C)(iii).)

The trial court determined that defendant Alfredo Perez, Jr., was eligible for resentencing. The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that Perez was armed with a deadly weapon during the commission of his current offense. Here we consider the nature of the inquiry that trial courts and Courts of Appeal should apply when determining whether a defendant is ineligible to be resentenced on the ground that he or she was armed with a deadly weapon during the commission of his or her current offense.

We hold, consistent with our decision in People v. Frierson (2017) 4 Cal.5th 225 (Frierson), that Proposition 36 permits a trial court to find a defendant was armed with a deadly weapon and is therefore ineligible for resentencing only if the prosecutor proves this basis for ineligibility beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, we hold that the trial court’s eligibility determination may rely on facts not found by a jury; such reliance does not violate the right to a jury trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. A reviewing court, in turn, must defer to the trial court’s determination if it is supported by substantial evidence.

In this case, the Court of Appeal was correct to conclude that the trial court’s determination of Perez’s eligibility for resentencing was not supported by substantial evidence. The evidence in support of Perez’s conviction does not reasonably support any inference but that Perez was armed with a deadly weapon during the commission of his current offense.

People v. Perez

S238354

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S238354.PDF