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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: C074279
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/16/2014

The term “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety” in the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Prop. 36) is not unconstitutionally vague. Following an incident in 2007, Garcia pled guilty to receiving stolen property and admitted prior strikes for a stipulated sentence of 25 years to life. He filed a petition for resentencing under Proposition 36 in 2013. Although Garcia was eligible for resentencing, the trial court denied the petition, based on its finding that he posed an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. The trial court cited Garcia’s extensive criminal record, which included two robberies, two escapes from confinement, and exhibition of a weapon, among other offenses. On appeal, Garcia argued that Penal Code section 1170.126 is unconstitutionally vague because the term “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety” is not defined. Held: Affirmed. Under Proposition 36, an inmate who is not otherwise ineligible for resentencing “shall be resentenced . . . unless the court, in its discretion, determines that resentencing the petitioner would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.126, subd. (f).) The meaning of the “unreasonable” term is not vague because it can be objectively ascertained by reference to the examples of evidence that the trial court may consider in making this determination. (See Pen. Code, § 1170.126, subd. (g).) These examples include a defendant’s criminal history and record of discipline and rehabilitation while incarcerated. There are many laws that use “reasonableness” as a standard to govern conduct and it is not impermissibly vague.