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Name: People v. Rhodius (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 38
Case #: E080064
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/13/2023

Defendant was not entitled to a full resentencing under Senate Bill No. 483 because his prison priors were imposed and stayed rather than executed. In 2016, defendant was sentenced to one felony count, and the court imposed but stayed one-year sentences for each of his two prison priors under section 667.5(b). In 2022, based on SB 483, CDCR identified defendant as potentially eligible for resentencing, and pursuant to CDCR’s notification, a hearing to recall and resentence was held. The trial court declined to hold a full resentencing because defendant’s prison priors were imposed and stayed rather than imposed and executed. Defendant appealed. Held: Affirmed. Section 1172.75(a) states that enhancements under section 667.5(b), with limited exceptions, are legally invalid. In People v. Gonzalez (2008) 43 Cal.4th 1118, the California Supreme Court addressed the meaning of the word “impose” in the context of section 12022.53, holding “the word ‘impose’ ensures that the statute’s punishment and legislative intent will be carried out only if it is interpreted as shorthand for ‘impose and then execute.” Further, section 1172.75 specifies that “[r]esentencing pursuant to this section shall result in a lesser sentence than the one originally imposed as a result of the elimination of the repealed enhancement” unless the lesser sentence would endanger public safety. To interpret “imposed” as used in section 1172.75(a) to include when a sentence was “imposed and stayed” would require any sentencing court faced with an “imposed and stayed” enhancement to arbitrarily lower a sentence simply because the judgment contained a stayed enhancement. The plain language of the statute and its legislative history support the court’s interpretation. Defendant was not entitled to a full resentencing because his prison prior enhancements were stayed. [Editor’s Note: There is a split in authority between this case and People v. Renteria (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 1276 (H049980) [full resentencing required based on SB 483 where prison priors were imposed but stayed] and People v. Christianson, D081330 (Nov. 17, 2023) [same].]