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Name: In re Maes
Case #: C062967
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/22/2010

Penal Code section 2933.2 bars a prisoner sentenced to an indeterminate life term for murder from earning post-sentence conduct credits against a consecutive determinate term imposed on a different offense. Petitioner was serving an indeterminate term for a murder conviction and a consecutive determinate term in a separate case. After the Department of Corrections told him he would not receive any post-sentence conduct credits on any portion of his sentence due to the application of Penal Code section 2933.2, he filed a writ of habeas corpus alleging he should be eligible for work time credits on the determinate term. Petitioner argued he was eligible for post-sentence conduct credits because he does not actually begin serving the murder sentence until he serves the determinate term first. (See Pen. Code, § 669.) The court denied the petition. It found the language of section 2933.2 is broad, and has no qualifications except “any person who is convicted of murder.” Section 2933.2 states that notwithstanding section 2933.1 or any other law, a person convicted of murder gets no credits per sections 2933 or 2933.05. It also says this limitation applies whether the person is sentenced under section 1170 (determinate sentencing law) or under some other law. The relevant question is at what point in time can it be fairly said that petitioner “is a person convicted of murder?” Applying the analysis used in In re Reeves (2005) 35 Cal.4th 765, a person in petitioner’s circumstances “is” a person convicted of murder because even though he is not yet serving his murder sentence, he is being held in prison for such a conviction. So, he is subject to the credit prohibition of section 2933.2 and does not get any conduct credits on the determinate part of his sentence.