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Name: People v. Roman
Case #: B149269
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/06/2001
Subsequent History: Review Denied December 12, 2001

Appellant was convicted of possessing a small quantity of methamphetamine, and admitted three prior “strikes.” He was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. While his appeal was pending, the new Los Angeles District Attorney issued a directive that possession of small amounts of controlled substances were to be presumed second strike, and not third strike, cases. Appellant contended on appeal that he would have received a more lenient sentence had he been prosecuted under this directive, and should therefore receive the benefit under the doctrine of abatement. The Court of Appeal here affirmed. The doctrine of abatement is wholly inapplicable to a change in district attorney policy. The directive was neither a legislative enactment, nor did it lessen the punishment for the offense. Further, even if the directive were viewed as akin to a legislative enactment, it was not intended to have retrospective application.