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Name: People v. Murray
Case #: B223024
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 02/06/2012

The categorical rule of Graham v. Florida (2010) __ U.S. __, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 2023, 2034, prohibiting no-parole life sentences for minors who are convicted of non-homicide offenses does not apply to a minor who commits multiple murders. Murray entered an “open plea” of no-contest to two counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder and received a combined, consecutive sentence of 104 years to life. He was 17 years old at the time that he shot and killed two people and shot at, but missed, a third person. This appellate court specifically follows People v. Blackwell (2011) 202 Cal.App.4th 144 which held that the Graham decision was explicitly limited to non-homicide offenses. Because Murray failed to offer any comparison of the punishment in California or other states for those who commit multiple murders, the court alternatively held that the Eighth Amendment issue was waived. The sentence was not disproportionate or an abuse of sentencing discretion.

Due process is not denied when the victim and relatives are allowed to make impact statements at the sentencing hearing and the defense is limited to calling witnesses to give sworn testimony about mitigating circumstances or to submitting written statements pursuant to Penal Code section 1204.