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Name: People v. J.K.
Case #: F084883
Opinion Date: 03/13/2024
Attorney: Victoria H. Stafford

The Court of Appeal agreed with the parties that pursuant to the California Supreme Court’s recent decision in In re Vaquera (2024) 15 Cal.5th 706, appellant’s 25-year-to-life terms on multiple counts must be reduced to 15-year-to-life terms. Vaquera held that a charging document’s allegation in the underlying substantive count that the victim was under 14 was insufficient to put defendant on notice that he might be sentenced under Penal Code section 667.61, subdivision (j)(2). (Vaquera, supra, at p. 724.) The prosecution must go further and expressly notify the defendant it intends to use that fact for purposes of One Strike sentencing. (Ibid.) According to Vaquera, failing to do so is a constitutional violation requiring appellate courts to strike the otherwise mandatory 25-year-to-life term(s) and replace them with 15-year-to-life term(s). (Vaquera, supra, at pp. 724, 726.) The Court of Appeal remanded the matter for resenetncing, and further ordered the trial court to pronounce judgment as to the individual fines and fees listed in the probation report and imposed on appellant.