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Name: People v. Moore
Case #: H025922
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/30/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 8/11/04
Summary

Appellant was convicted of sale of methamphetamine, and a prior “strike” for a 1999 conviction for making terrorist threats. Appellant pleaded guilty to the drug offense, and the prior “strike” was found true. On appeal, appellant contended that his prior strike was not valid because it was committed before terrorist threats were added to the list of “strike” felonies, by Proposition 21 in 2000. He also contended that terrorist threats to a girlfriend did not qualify as a strike; that only threats of violence to intimidate or coerce a government or community qualify as strikes. The appellate court rejected both arguments. No ex post facto violation occurred unless the current offense pre-dated Proposition 21. The appellate courts have consistently interpreted the three strikes law as permitting application of the new law to prior convictions which were sustained prior to its enactment. Further, although the statute is ambiguous as to what kinds of terrorist threats are serious felonies for purposes of the three strikes law, the intent was clearly to expand the list of crimes which deserve enhanced punishment. Resolving the ambiguity in appellant’s favor would lead to absurd results and frustrate the purpose of the law.