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Name: People v. Jefferson
Case #: C053130
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/07/2007

There is no federal constitutional right to a jury trial on the issue of whether a prior conviction constitutes a serious felony under the California Three Strikes law (Pen. Code, secs. 667 & 1170.12). (People v. Kelii (1999) 21 Cal.4th 452; People v. McGee (2006) 38 Cal.4th 682.) Appellant was convicted of robbery by jury trial. At the subsequent court trial, the trial court found that a conviction in Illinois for attempted murder constituted a serious felony under the strikes law and doubled the penalty for the robbery. The appellate court found that because the determination of recidivist matters does not fall within the holding of Apprendi (Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466), but continues to be governed by Almendarez-Torres (Almendrez-Torres v. United States (1998) 523 U.S. 224), the California Supreme Court’s analysis in McGee remains good authority, unaffected by Blakely (Blakely v. Washington (2004) 542 U.S. 296) and Cunningham (Cunningham v. California (2007) 549 U.S. __ [166 L.Ed.2d 856].)