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Name: People v. Gonzalez
Case #: C099813
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/28/2024

Trial court erred in denying compassionate release (PC 1172.2) on the ground that defendant posed an "unreasonable risk" of committing a future super strike, as the risk assessment failed to consider defendant's (diminished) "current physical and mental condition" (PC 1172.2(b)). Defendant was also permitted to reside within 35 miles of victim, despite her objection under PC 3003(f), because the statute only applies to parolees.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: 

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Name: People v. Reed
Case #: A168358, A168368
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/27/2024

The Court of Appeal holds that defendant, who was convicted of second degree murder and paroled in 2021 to a three-year term, was not subject to PC 3000.08(h)'s mandatory remand-to-CDCR provision upon violating parole. PC 3000.08(h) applies to lifetime parolees convicted of first or second degree murder (PC 3000.1) or persons convicted of specified sex offenses (PC 3000(b)(4)). Although PC 3000.1(a)(1) provides that any inmate sentenced to first or second degree murder with a maximum life imprisonment term shall be a lifetime parolee, PC 3000.01(a), effective August 6, 2020, limited parole terms to three years for any inmate sentenced 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. 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. Tilley (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 772
Case #: C096411
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/20/2023

Defendant’s claim that the trial court erred by failing to consider the low-term presumption of Penal Code section 1170(b)(6) was forfeited where defendant did not raise the issue, and trial counsel was not prejudicially ineffective for failing to raise the issue. Defendant pleaded no contest to robbery and was sentenced to the middle term. On appeal, he argued the trial court abused its discretion in imposing the middle term because the court did not consider his mental health problems in accordance with section 1170(b)(6). Held: Affirmed. Section 1170(b)(6), created a presumption in favor of the lower term if a defendant’s…

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Name: In re Van Houten (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 1
Case #: B320098
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/30/2023

Governor’s decision reversing grant of parole was not supported by “some evidence” of current dangerousness. Van Houten is serving concurrent sentences of seven years to life for two 1969 murders committed with other members of a cult led by Charles Manson. In 2020, the Board of Parole Hearings granted her parole for the fourth time. The Governor reversed the decision, finding (1) that her explanation of how she fell under Manson’s influence and engaged in her life crimes was inadequate; (2) that recent statements she made were inconsistent with statements she made at the time of the killings, indicating gaps in…

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Name: In re Palmer
Case #: S256149
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/28/2021

Opinion By: Justice Cuéllar (joined by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justices Corrigan, Kruger, Groban, and Grover (Court of Appeal Justice). Justice Liu filed a concurring opinion.
The Court of Appeal erred in terminating petitioner's period of parole supervision solely based on its conclusion that petitioner had served an excessive prison sentence in violation of the state and federal Constitutions. In 1988, Palmer, then 17 years old, pleaded guilty to kidnapping for robbery and was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. He first sought release from the Board of Parole Hearings in 1995 but was denied. Following…

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Name: Bontilao v. Superior Court
Case #: H046157
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/24/2019

When a trial court assigns a judge for all purposes to consider a habeas petition challenging the denial of parole, the timeliness of a Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 motion to disqualify the judge is governed by the criminal "all purpose assignment" rule. Bontilao filed a habeas petition challenging the denial of parole. His petition was initially assigned to Judge Weinstein "for all purposes," but later reassigned to Judge Zecher "for all purposes." Bontilao filed a section 170.6 challenge against Judge Zecher. It was denied as untimely. The Court of Appeal summarily denied Bontilao's petition for writ of mandate.…

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Name: People v. Wiley
Case #: A154248
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/28/2019

Penal Code section 1385 does not authorize a trial court to dismiss a parole revocation petition in the furtherance of justice. In 1991, Wiley was sentenced to a prison term of 26 years to life for murder, robbery, and kidnapping. He was released on parole in March 2017. He then violated parole conditions over the next several months. A parole revocation petition was filed on a number of grounds. The trial court found that Wiley violated parole by failing to return to his housing by curfew, but did not find the other grounds substantiated. Wiley argued…

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