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Name: People v. Scott
Case #: S211670
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/19/2014

Realignment sentencing is inapplicable to otherwise qualified defendant who had a state prison sentence imposed and suspended prior to October 1, 2011. In 2009, Scott pled guilty to possessing cocaine for sale and admitted a prior drug conviction on condition he be granted probation with a prison term imposed but suspended. His probation was revoked and reinstated on several occasions, culminating in revocation and termination of probation in December 2011. The suspended seven-year prison term was executed; he was ordered to serve his sentence in county jail instead of prison under the Realignment Act. This disposition was affirmed on appeal. The prosecution sought review. Held: Reversed. Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (h)(6) provides that the changes in sentencing made by the Realignment Act shall be applied prospectively to any person sentenced on or after October 1, 2011. The Act does not define “sentenced” and the court here concluded “that a defendant is ‘sentenced’ when a judgment imposing punishment is pronounced even if execution of the sentence is then suspended” and is not sentenced again when probation is revoked and the previously suspended term is executed. The Legislature is deemed to be aware of statutes and judicial decisions, and to have enacted a statute in light thereof. Thus, the Legislature intended the term “sentenced” in section 1170, subdivision (h)(6) to be consistent with People v. Howard (1997) 16 Cal.4th 1081 (court has no power to modify previously imposed, execution suspended sentence when probation is revoked), and Penal Code section 1203.2, subdivision (c) (upon revocation of probation court may revoke suspension of previously imposed sentence and judgment is in full force and effect).