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Name: People v. Superior Court (Kaulick)
Case #: B246632
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/30/2013

Under the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Proposition 36), on a resentencing petition, the prosecution is entitled to notice and opportunity to be heard on the issue of dangerousness and has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence. After Proposition 36 went into effect, Kaulick, who was serving a 25-years-to-life sentence under the Three Strikes law for a felony that was not serious or violent, filed a petition for habeas corpus seeking resentencing. The trial court granted his petition without providing the prosecution the opportunity to be heard. The district attorney filed a petition for writ of mandate, which the Court of Appeal granted. The Three Strikes law provided for a sentencing scheme whereby a defendant, with two requisite convictions for a serious or violent felony, who is convicted of a third felony is eligible for a 25-years-to-life sentence. In 2012, Proposition 36 was passed, which requires the third conviction to be a serious or violent felony (or other qualifying felony). Defendants who had previously been sentenced to life terms for a third felony that was not serious or violent can petition for resentencing and, absent evidence that the defendant represents an unreasonable risk of dangerousness to the public, will be sentenced as if they had only one prior serious or violent felony. In this case, the court held that the prosecution had the right to challenge the resentencing by either writ or appeal. The court further established that the prosecution has the right to notice and opportunity to be heard on the issue of dangerousness; both defendant and victim have the right to be heard at the resentencing hearing; the resentencing should take place before the original sentencing judge, if available; and the prosecution has the burden of establishing dangerousness by a preponderance of evidence. The court directed the trial court to set a hearing on Kaulick’s petition that followed these procedures.