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Name: People v. Sydnor
Case #: C096333
Opinion Date: 01/19/2024
Attorney: Matthew J. Watts
Summary

In defendant’s prior appeal, the matter was remanded for the trial court to exercise its discretion regarding whether to strike his firearm enhancement pursuant to Senate Bill No. 620. At the resentencing hearing, defendant’s trial counsel did not request consideration of Senate Bill No. 567 or Assembly Bill No. 518, which went into effect after the remittitur was issued. The trial court did not consider this new legislation when it resentenced defendant. Defendant appealed, claiming this was an abuse of discretion.

The Court of Appeal held the issue was forfeited, but nonetheless chose to reach the merits to eliminate the need to address defendant’s alternative ineffective assistance of counsel claim.  The court agreed with defendant that the trial court abused its discretion. The record contained no clear indication that the trial court would have made the same sentencing choices if it had been aware of the scope of its discretion. The Court of Appeal vacated the sentence and remanded the matter for the trial court to exercise its discretion under SB 567, AB 518, and any other applicable sentencing law changes.