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Name: People v. Hardin (2024) 15 Cal.5th 834
Case #: S277487
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 03/04/2024

Penal Code section 3051, which permits youth offender parole hearings, does not violate equal protection on its face, or as applied in this case, by its exclusion from eligibility of young adult offenders sentenced to LWOP. In 1989, at age 25, Hardin robbed and killed an elderly neighbor. He was convicted of a special circumstance murder and was sentenced to LWOP. Decades later, he filed a motion to develop evidence for a youth offender parole hearing. Hardin acknowledged that as an adult offender sentenced to LWOP, he was not eligible under section 3051, but argued his exclusion violated the federal…

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Name: In re Koenig (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 558
Case #: C098893
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/28/2023

Inmate convicted of both violent and nonviolent offenses is not entitled to early parole consideration under Proposition 57 because he is serving a term for the violent felonies throughout his aggregate term. In 2013, Koenig was sentenced to an aggregate prison term that included both nonviolent and violent offenses. After CDCR refused Koenig’s requests for a referral to the Parole Board for early parole consideration, he eventually filed a habeas petition in the Court of Appeal arguing that he is entitled to early parole consideration under Proposition 57 because he completed his full term of five years for his primary…

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Name: In re Hicks (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 348
Case #: B319925
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/17/2023

Proposition 57 does not require early parole consideration for inmates convicted of both violent and nonviolent felonies, even where the primary offense is a nonviolent felony. Hicks is currently serving a sentence on two counts of burglary and one count of robbery. He is considered a “mixed-offense” inmate because he is convicted of both a nonviolent and violent felony. He sought early parole consideration under section 32(a)(1) of the California Constitution, asserting he should be eligible because his primary offense (burglary) is a nonviolent felony. After the Court of Appeal denied relief, the California Supreme Court issued an order to…

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Name: In re Casey (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 1265
Case #: B321709
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 09/28/2023

The trial court’s order granting defendant’s habeas petition was improper where the Governor’s decision to reverse the parole board’s decision to grant parole was supported by “some evidence.” Defendant is serving a life term for the murder of a 15 year old girl when he was 17. After defendant served 23 years and three months, the parole board granted him parole. The Governor reversed the parole board’s decision and denied defendant parole on the ground that defendant lacks insight into his crime. The trial court granted defendant’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus finding the Governor’s decision was unsupported…

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Name: CDCR v. Superior Court (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 1025
Case #: A166559
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/25/2023

Superior court did not have authority to accept a negotiated plea deal that would place lifetime parolee on probation for a new criminal offense instead of remanding him to CDCR’s custody. While defendant was released on lifetime parole, he committed felony offenses and a criminal case was initiated. The People and CDCR also each filed their own petition for revocation of defendant’s parole. The superior court accepted a negotiated disposition in the criminal case and placed defendant on felony probation. As part of the plea agreement, the superior court also dismissed the two pending parole revocation petitions at the People’s…

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Name: People v. Gray (2023) 15 Cal.5th 152
Case #: S269237
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 08/14/2023

Opinion by: Chief Justice Guerrero (unanimous decision). Justice Groban also filed a concurring opinion.

In probation revocation hearings, due process requires that trial courts determine on a case-by-case basis whether spontaneous hearsay statements are admissible. Gray was charged with inflicting corporal injury upon N.S., and violating his probation. An officer’s body-worn camera captured N.S.’s statements regarding the incident. N.S. subsequently recanted and failed to appear at Gray’s criminal trial. N.S.’s statements on the video were held inadmissible under the confrontation clause, and the criminal proceeding was dismissed. However, the trial court found a violation of probation, relying on N.S.’s statements on…

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Name: People v. Session (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 723
Case #: G060536
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/19/2023

Investigator who identified defendant as a burglary suspect and knew of his parole status properly placed a warrantless GPS tracking device on his vehicle; the source of his knowledge regarding defendant’s parole status was not legally relevant. Defendant was a suspect in a string of residential burglaries, some of which were captured by home security systems. During a traffic stop, the investigating officer who had already identified both the defendant and the vehicle as suspects in several of the burglaries, arrived at the scene and placed a warrantless GPS tracking device on the vehicle. The officer knew defendant was on…

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Name: People v. Gruis (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 19
Case #: A165298
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/01/2023

Probation condition prohibiting defendant from possessing pornographic materials is unconstitutionally vague. Defendant pleaded no contest to one count of possession of child pornography. (Pen. Code, § 311.11(a)). On appeal, defendant challenged a probation condition prohibiting him from possessing pornographic materials, arguing the term “pornographic” is unconstitutionally vague. Held: Remanded with directions for the trial court to strike or modify the condition. There is a general consensus that the terms “pornographic” and “pornography,” standing by themselves, are subjective and vague. In United States v. Simmons (2d Cir. 2003) 343 F.3d 72, the court upheld a probation condition similar to the one…

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Name: People v. Hernandez (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 1
Case #: B315243
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 06/22/2023
Subsequent History: Ordered published 7/3/2023

Original trial court retained jurisdiction over motion to withdraw plea filed by a former probationer whose probation had been transferred from the county of conviction to his county of permanent residence. The supervision of defendant’s probation was transferred from the county of conviction to the county of his permanent residence pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.9. Following the completion of his probationary sentence, defendant filed a motion to vacate his plea (Pen. Code, § 1473.7) in the receiving county. The trial court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the motion. Defendant appealed. Held: Affirmed. Section 1203.9 authorizes the transfer…

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Name: People v. Jackson (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 207
Case #: A164649
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/06/2023

Trial court had no jurisdiction to find a violation of probation because, due to Assembly Bill No. 1950’s retroactive change to Penal Code section 1203.1, defendant’s probationary term had expired before the misconduct occurred. In January 2017, defendant entered a plea to burglary and was sentenced to five years of probation. In July 2020, he was charged with having committed probation violations in July and October 2019 (i.e., more than two years after his probationary term began). In August 2020, the court summarily revoked probation pending a formal hearing. In January 2021, AB 1950 took effect, decreasing the maximum period of…

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