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Name: People v. Galvan
Case #: G049764
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/16/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 6/24/2015: S226572

Inmate was ineligible for Three Strikes Reform Act (Prop. 36) resentencing because his commitment offense is now a serious felony even though it was not so classified at the time his conviction became final. Galvan appealed from the dismissal of his petition for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.126 (statutory implementation of the Three Strikes Reform Act), arguing that the trial court erred in finding him ineligible for resentencing because the crime for which he was given a life term, assault with a firearm (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(2)), was not considered a serious or violent felony at the time of the final judgment on his conviction. Held: Affirmed. The issue of whether the classification of an inmate’s prior conviction must be determined at the time that his conviction became final, rather than under the law in effect when section 1170.126 was enacted, is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. (See People v. Johnson (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 620, review granted 7/30/2014 (S219454/B249651).) Section 1170.126 specifies that a qualified inmate is one who is serving an indeterminate sentence for felonies that are not defined as serious and/or violent. The use of the present tense in defining which felonies qualify makes clear that the pertinent classification to establish eligibility for resentencing is the law in existence when section 1170.126 went into effect. Galvan was ineligible for resentencing because his conviction for assault with a firearm qualifies as a serious felony.