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Name: People v. Coddington (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 562
Case #: A166124
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/17/2023

Defendant who was resentenced under Penal Code section 1172.75 (to strike prior prison term enhancement) was entitled to a full resentencing, but further reductions of his sentence under other recent ameliorative legislation may require setting aside his guilty plea under Stamps. In May 2017, as part of a negotiated plea, defendant pleaded guilty to a felony offense with enhancements. In 2022, the trial court granted defendant’s motion under section 1172.75 to vacate his prior prison term enhancement and reduced his sentence by one year. On appeal, he argued that the trial court failed to provide him with a full sentencing hearing where he could have sought further sentencing relief under at least two other statutes that were enacted after his conviction (SB 1393 and SB 81). Held: Remanded for full resentencing. Section 1172.75(d)(2) provides that, when resentencing occurs, the trial court shall apply “any other changes in law that reduce sentences” when striking a prison prior. (See also People v. Buycks (2018) 5 Cal.5th 857.) The Legislature intended that any changes to a sentence as a result of section 1172.75 would not be a basis for a prosecutor or court to rescind a plea agreement, and the trial court followed this directive. However, the Court of Appeal concluded that the same principle will not apply if defendant seeks further sentencing relief on remand. The uncodified statement of legislative intent did not overrule People v. Stamps (2020) 9 Cal.5th 685 for all other sentence reductions that are granted in connection with a request to eliminate prison priors. On remand, if the trial court is inclined to exercise its discretion to reduce the sentence further, the prosecutor can either agree to modify the bargain or withdraw its assent to the plea agreement. [Editor’s Note: In a footnote, the court addressed whether the defendant had a right to move for resentencing under section 1172.75. There was information in the record indicating CDCR identified inmates who are eligible for resentencing under section 1172.75 in at least one lengthy list of names, rather than notifying the court in individual letters, and that resentencing in some cases was initiated based on that list. While neither party confirmed whether that was the case here, the Court of Appeal concluded the footnote by stating “[t]his suggests at least some CDCR involvement in the process.” The Court of Appeal proceeded to rule on the merits, as it did in People v. Monroe (2022) 85 Cal.App.5th 393 (First District, Division 2), where the defendant also moved under section 1172.75 to modify his sentence imposed after jury trial.]