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Name: In re Taylor
Case #: F036604
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/04/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. on den. rehg at 89 Cal.App.4th 406d; Rev. den. 8/29/01

The right to a jury trial on a prior conviction derives solely from California statutory law. Therefore, the United States Supreme Court decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466, which held that any fact which increases the penalty for a crime must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt, did not apply to the proof of a prior conviction under the Three Strikes Law in appellant’s case. The California Supreme Court held in People v. Epps (2001) 25 Cal.4th 19, that there was no constitutional right to a jury trial to adjudicate a prior conviction when only the “bare fact” of the prior conviction was at issue. Here, the trial court only had to look at uncontested facts found in the record of the prior conviction, so the Apprendi exception did not apply. Therefore, Taylor’s petition for writ of habeas corpus based on the trial court’s failure to take a valid waiver of his right to a jury trial on his prior “strikes” was denied.