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Name: People v. Hubbard
Case #: C073340
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/19/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 10/29/2014: S221541

Inmate serving indeterminate life terms under the Three Strikes law is not eligible for resentencing under the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Prop. 36) where he was convicted of both qualifying and disqualifying offenses. In 1996, Hubbard was convicted of attempted robbery and reckless evasion of a police pursuit. Multiple allegations of prior serious felony convictions were found true, and he was sentenced to consecutive indeterminate terms of 25 years to life under the Three Strikes law. In 2012, he filed a recall petition under the Act requesting resentencing on his conviction for reckless evasion. The trial court denied the petition because one of Hubbard’s two commitment offenses was a serious and violent felony. Hubbard appealed. Held: Affirmed. Under the Act, an inmate serving a three strikes life sentence for a felony conviction that is not serious or violent is eligible for resentencing subject to certain exceptions. (Pen. Code, § 1170.126.) Section 1170.126 does not expressly refer to hybrid three strike life sentences, such as Hubbard’s, where the offender was convicted of both qualifying and disqualifying offenses. The court here concluded “that the statute is intended to apply exclusively to persons serving a sentence of an indeterminate life term that would not have been an indeterminate life term under the 2012 prospective amendments” and that “[t]he only way the current sentence would not have been an indeterminate life term under the prospective provisions is if no commitment conviction was disqualifying . . . .” As a result, eligibility for resentencing must be assessed on the commitment judgment as a whole and not per offense. This conclusion is supported by the official voting materials. The court disagreed that the principle authorizing a trial court to exercise its power to strike recidivist findings in the interest of justice on an offense-specific basis applies in this context. (See People v. Garcia (1999) 20 Cal.4th 490.) [Editor’s Note: This issue is currently pending in the California Supreme Court. (Braziel v. Superior Court (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 933, review granted 7/30/2014 (S218503/B249830); People v. Machado (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 1044, mod. 226 Cal.App.4th 1376a, review granted 7/30/2014 (S219819/B249557).)]