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Name: People v. Jones
Case #: C078623
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/28/2019

Although SB 1393 is retroactive in defendant’s case, a remand for the trial court to consider striking the five-year prior serious felony enhancement is unnecessary because there is no possibility the trial court would strike the enhancement. Jones was convicted of several violent offenses, including attempted murder with premeditation. He admitted a prior felony conviction, which the trial court found to qualify as a prior serious felony and as a strike under Penal Code sections 667 and 1170.12. After the Court of Appeal issued an opinion in the case, the California Supreme Court directed the court to reconsider the matter in light of Senate Bill No. 1393. Held: Affirmed on this point. Prior to 2019, trial courts had no authority to strike a serious felony prior that is used to impose a five-year enhancement under section 667, subdivision (a)(1). SB 1393 removed this prohibition and became effective January 1, 2019. The Court of Appeal agreed that SB 1393 was retroactive to Jones’ case because his judgment was not yet final on SB 1393’s effective date. However, following People v. McDaniels (2018) 22 Cal.App.5th 420, the court held it was unnecessary to remand the case because the record showed the trial court clearly indicated when it originally sentenced Jones that it would not have stricken the enhancement even if it had discretion. “The trial court need not have specifically stated at sentencing it would not strike the enhancement if it had the discretion to do so. Rather, we review the trial court’s statements and sentencing decisions to infer what its intent would have been.” Here, the trial court “stated there was no doubt the verdict was correct, defendant’s actions were premeditated, dangerous, senseless and absurd, he attempted to kill [the victim] only a few months after being released from prison where he had been for 10 years, and the court took ‘great satisfaction’ in imposing the ‘very lengthy sentence’ it imposed.” The court distinguished People v. Almanza (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 1104.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: