If a defendant committed an offense prior to Prop. 47 at a time when the offense was a felony not covered by Prop. 47, he can’t get relief under Prop. 47

March 29, 2018 Comments off

If a defendant committed an offense prior to Prop. 47 at a time when the offense was a felony not covered by Prop. 47, he can’t get relief under Prop. 47

In November 2014, California voters enacted Proposition 47, which reduced certain drug- and theft-related offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. The initiative also authorizes inmates currently serving sentences for a reclassified crime to petition the court for resentencing: “A person who, on November 5, 2014, was serving a sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or plea, of a felony or felonies who would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under the act that added this section (‘this act’) had this act been in effect at the time of the offense may petition for a recall of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her case to request resentencing in accordance with Sections 11350, 11357, or 11377 of the Health and Safety Code, or Section 459.5, 473, 476a, 490.2, 496, or 666 of the Penal Code, as those sections have been amended or added by this act.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a).)

Defendant Mario Martinez filed a petition for resentencing on two felony convictions for offenses he committed in 2007: one for possession of methamphetamine, the other for transportation of methamphetamine. The district attorney agreed that Proposition 47 reduced the possession offense to a misdemeanor, and the trial court found Martinez eligible for resentencing on that offense. But the trial court, observing that Proposition 47 did not expressly reduce the transportation offense to a misdemeanor, found Martinez ineligible for resentencing on the transportation offense.

On appeal, Martinez argued that he is eligible for resentencing on the transportation offense because the electorate passed Proposition 47 against the backdrop of a 2013 enactment providing that transportation of drugs without intent to sell is no longer a felony. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument, holding that only offenders convicted of a felony offense enumerated in Proposition 47’s resentencing provision may have their crimes reduced to misdemeanors. As our recent opinion in People v. Page (2017) 3 Cal.5th 1175, 1182–1187 (Page) indicates, this reasoning by the Court of Appeal was erroneous. But the Court of Appeal further explained that Martinez is ineligible for resentencing because “[i]f Proposition 47 had been in effect when defendant committed his offense in 2007, he would still be guilty of a felony not covered by Proposition 47 . . . .” We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal on this latter ground.

People v. Martinez




No new cases today

March 26, 2018 Comments off

Obviously, this being a court holiday, the Cal. Supremes issued no new cases today.

No new criminal cases tomorrow

March 21, 2018 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes will issue no new criminal cases tomorrow.

No new cases Monday

March 16, 2018 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes will issue no new cases Monday.

No new cases tomorrow

March 14, 2018 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes will issue no new cases tomorrow.

False evidence introduced at trial requires reversal of death verdict

March 12, 2018 Comments off

False evidence introduced at trial requires reversal of death verdict

On appeal we affirmed petitioner’s convictions and death penalty judgment. (People v. Benavides (2005) 35 Cal.4th 69 (Benavides).) In response to his petition for habeas corpus relief, we issued an order to show cause on his claims that his convictions were based on false evidence and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Respondent now concedes that false evidence was introduced at trial and that petitioner’s convictions of substantive sexual offenses, special-circumstance findings, and judgment of death must be vacated. Respondent urges us to reduce the murder conviction from first to second degree. We decline to do so. The judgment is vacated in its entirety.

In re Figueroa



Prop. 47: cases on appeal require resentencing

March 12, 2018 Comments off

Prop. 47: cases on appeal require resentencing

Approved by voters in 2014, Proposition 47 (“The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” (Proposition 47)) reduces many common theft- and drug-related offenses from felonies to misdemeanors for offenders who do not have prior convictions for specified violent or serious offenses. The measure also permits eligible defendants who were serving felony sentences as of Proposition 47’s effective date to obtain the benefit of these changes by petitioning for resentencing. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a), as amended by Stats. 2016, ch. 767, § 1, p. 5313.) A court must grant a resentencing petition unless the court determines that resentencing the defendant “would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (b).)
The question before us concerns the application of these provisions to defendants who were serving felony sentences on the measure’s effective date but whose judgments were on appeal and thus not yet final. Are such defendants entitled to automatic resentencing under Proposition 47, or must they instead seek resentencing through the statutory resentencing procedure, including the risk assessment prescribed by Penal Code section 1170.18, subdivision (b)? We conclude that resentencing is available to such defendants only in accordance with the statutory resentencing procedure in Penal Code section 1170.18 (section 1170.18).

People v. DeHoyos