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Name: In re Cervera
Case #: S075310
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 02/08/2001
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied 3/28/01

The “three strikes” law does not authorize or allow a defendant with three strikes to be awarded article 2.5 prison conduct credits for use against the defendant’s mandatory indeterminate term of life imprisonment. The law is not ambiguous merely because it does not expressly prohibit credits for use against indeterminate terms where the law clearly does not authorize such credits. Justice Werdegar concurred separately because she questioned whether the court had accurately ascertained the lawmakers’ true intent when the following is the result of this holding: (1) most second strike defendants can earn credit while in prison, but are limited to a maximum of 20 percent; (2) some second strike offenders cannot earn credit in prison because they are serving an indeterminate term, even though their minimum eligible parole date has been doubled; (3) some third strike offenders can earn credits, limited to 20 percent of their determinate term only, and (4) other third strike offenders, as here, are prohibited from earning any credit, because they received only an indeterminate term–that is 20 percent of nothing.