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Name: People v. Shabazz
Case #: B255297
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 06/01/2015

In enacting Proposition 47, the voters expressly intended that qualified defendants file a petition or application in the superior court seeking to reduce certain felonies to misdemeanors; the Court of Appeal is not permitted to reduce a conviction. Shabazz was convicted of possessing methamphetamine and receiving stolen property. He completed his sentence for his convictions. While his appeal was pending, Proposition 47 was passed. Shabazz asked the Court of Appeal to reduce his qualified convictions to misdemeanors. Held: Affirmed. Proposition 47 made certain drug and theft felonies misdemeanors, including the offenses for which Shabazz was convicted. The voters enacted procedures to permit the retroactive application of Proposition 47 and did not intend that Proposition 47 would automatically allow an appellate court to reduce qualified felonies to misdemeanors. A defendant is limited to the statutory remedy set forth in Penal Code section 1170.18 and must first file a petition or application in the trial court. Shabazz must file an application in the trial court to designate his felonies as misdemeanors. Because Shabazz has finished serving his sentence, his application must be granted if he has no disqualifying priors. This procedure “insures the eligibility determination is made in a hearing where the prosecution is on notice of the existence of the disqualifying prior issue.” [Editor’s Note: The court put aside the question of whether jurisdiction remains in the trial court to entertain a Prop. 47 petition/application while a direct appeal is pending.]