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Name: People v. Boatwright
Case #: A153352
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/25/2019
Summary

Even though the crime of accessory is not specifically listed in Proposition 64, defendant convicted of felony accessory to marijuana-related offenses was not categorically ineligible for resentencing. As part of a negotiated plea, Boatwright pleaded guilty to felony accessory after he was found at a home with a large amount of marijuana and told officers he was helping a friend package the marijuana. He was placed on probation. After his third probation violation, he petitioned for a reduction in his sentence under recently enacted Proposition 64. The trial court denied the petition because accessory is not specifically enumerated in Proposition 64, and permanently revoked probation and sentenced Boatwright. He appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. In 2016, Proposition 64 legalized the recreational use of marijuana and reduced the criminal penalties for various marijuana-related offenses, including the cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana. It also sets forth a procedure that allows an individual currently serving a sentence to seek postconviction relief based on these changes in the law if the individual does not have a disqualifying prior conviction. (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11361.8, 11360.) The relevant inquiry in this case was whether Boatwright would have been convicted of accessory had Proposition 64 been in effect at the time of his offense. After analyzing Proposition 64 and relevant case law interpreting Proposition 47, the Court of Appeal concluded he would not. A conviction as an accessory requires that a principal must have committed a specific, completed felony. The completed felony that formed the basis for Boatwright’s accessory conviction was either possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation, or transportation of marijuana. Each of these offenses is now punishable as a misdemeanor under Proposition 64. The People did not present clear and convincing evidence that would disqualify Boatwright from Proposition 64 relief.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/A153352.PDF