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Name: People v. Espinoza
Case #: B251596
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 05/27/2014

Defendant whose Three Strike term is reduced pursuant to the Strike Reform Act must participate in post-release community supervision (PRCS) even though his credits exceed his new sentence. In 1999 defendant received a 25-year-to-life strikes sentence. He was resentenced in 2013 to a seven year, four month term pursuant to the Strike Reform Act, and given credits which exceeded his new sentence. He appealed the requirement that he participate in PRCS. Held: Affirmed. Generally, where presentence credits exceed the prison term, excess credits are deducted from the parole period. (In re Sosa (1980) 102 Cal.App.3d 1002.) Penal Code section 2900.5, subdivision (c) provides that “term of imprisonment” includes any period of imprisonment and parole, but this does not include PRCS. Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (h)(6) of the 2011 Realignment Act provides that the Act applies to all persons sentenced or released from prison on or after October 1, 2011. Defendant was resentenced in 2013 and released. He is thus subject to Penal Code section 3451, subdivision (a), which mandates up to three years PRCS—this term is not reduced by excess credits.

Subjecting a defendant with credits in excess of his prison term to PRCS is constitutional. Defendant’s claim that requiring his participation in PRCS violates the ex post facto clauses of the state and federal constitutions is meritless. PRCS is not punishment; defendant’s initial sentence was reduced to seven years, four months. A statute which reduces the term of imprisonment is not an ex post facto law. The court also rejected defendant’s equal protection claim.