A youth offender sentenced after People v. Franklin (2016) 63 Cal.4th 261 was not entitled to a remand to make a record of mitigating youth-related evidence, but may file a motion under Penal Code section 1203.01 pursuant to In re Cook (2019) 7 Cal.5th 439. Medrano was sentenced to 25 years to life, plus seven years, for offenses committed when he was 19 years old. His sentencing occurred over a year after the Supreme Court decided People v. Franklin (2016) 63 Cal.4th 261, which held that when a juvenile offender receives an indeterminate life sentence, the offender must be “given adequate opportunity at sentencing to make a record of mitigating evidence tied to his youth.” On appeal, Medrano argued his case should be remanded so he could make such a record because the record in his case was undeveloped on this issue and it was unclear whether defense counsel understood the need and opportunity to develop the record. Held: Affirmed. Medrano will be entitled to a youth offender parole hearing during his 25th year of incarceration. (See Pen. Code, § 3051, subd. (a)(1), (b)(3).) At the youth offender parole hearing, the Board “shall give great weight to the diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the prisoner in accordance with relevant case law.” (Pen. Code, § 4801, subd. (c).) Here, the Court of Appeal concluded Medrano had an opportunity to present mitigating youth-related evidence because he was sentenced over a year after Franklin was decided (which distinguished this case from People v. Jones (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 787). The record indicated Medrano, either by choice or inadvertence, failed to make such a record. The judgment was affirmed without prejudice to Medrano’s filing a motion under section 1203.01 and Cook, which held that a juvenile offender whose conviction and sentence are final may file a motion under section 1203.01 for the purpose of making a record of mitigating youth-related evidence.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/E070042.PDF