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Name: People v. Williams
Case #: S110377
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 10/18/2004

A prior conviction enhancement may be added to a Three Strikes sentence for each new offense. The California Supreme Court unanimously concluded that People v. Tassell (1984) 36 Cal.3d 77 does not apply to multiple indeterminate terms imposed under Penal Code section 667, subdivision (e). The defendant was convicted in two separate prosecutions with a total of five new felonies, four of which were serious or violent felonies, and the jury in each case also found that he had suffered two prior serious felony convictions. In a joint sentencing proceeding he was sentenced in each case to a term of 25-to-life, with an additional ten years for the two priors alleged under section 667, subdivision (a). The two cases were ordered to run consecutively to one another, for a total term of 70 years to life. The trial court declined to stay the five-year terms on the second case, and both the Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court affirmed. Noting that the Three Strikes Law was intended to increase sentences for recidivist offenders for each new offense, the Supreme Court concluded that 667(a) enhancements are to be applied individually to each count of a third-strike sentence.