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Name: People v. Beaudreaux (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 1227
Case #: A166001
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/28/2024

Trial court erred when it denied second Penal Code section 1172.6 petition at the prima facie stage without appointing counsel, but the error was harmless because the record established petitioner was the actual killer. After the California Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Lewis (2021) 11 Cal.5th 952 and the enactment of Senate Bill No. 775, Beaudreaux filed a second section 1172.6 petition for resentencing for his first degree murder conviction that was based on a felony murder theory. The trial court denied the petition at the prima facie stage without appointing counsel and Beaudreaux appealed. Held: Affirmed. The Court…

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Name: People v. Curiel (2023) 15 Cal.5th 433
Case #: S272238
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 11/27/2023

In Penal Code section 1172.6 proceedings, a prior jury finding of intent to kill does not conclusively establish that the petitioner is ineligible for relief at the prima facie stage because intent to kill does not establish any valid theory of liability by itself. In 2006, a jury convicted Curiel of first degree murder and found true a gang-murder special circumstance allegation based on evidence that Curiel’s companion shot and killed a person during an altercation. After the enactment of Senate Bill No. 1437, Curiel filed a petition for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95 (now 1172.6) alleging that he…

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Name: People v. Medrano (2024) 98 Cal.App.5th 1254
Case #: B324567
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/22/2024

Trial court properly denied defendant’s second Penal Code section 1172.6 petition at the prima facie stage using the law of the case doctrine because there was no new evidence that could affect the appellate court’s earlier holding that defendant was ineligible for relief as a matter of law. In 1991, defendant was convicted of several offenses including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted murder. His first section 1172.6 petition was denied in 2019 after a (d)(3) hearing. The Court of Appeal affirmed the denial, holding his conviction of conspiracy to commit first degree murder rendered him ineligible as a…

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Name: People v. Bratton (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 1100
Case #: E078627
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/26/2023

Standard principles of issue preclusion may be used to deny a defendant’s request for resentencing under Penal Code section 1172.6. In 1995, Bratton, age 16 years, committed a robbery with an accomplice. He confessed to shooting the store clerk dead during the offense. His defense was that he did not participate in the crime at all. He was convicted of first degree murder with robbery and burglary special circumstances and the jury found true a personal gun use enhancement. In 2021 his petition for resentencing was denied at the prima facie stage after the trial court relied on the appellate…

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Name: People v. Arnold (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 376
Case #: B321031
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/11/2023

Trial court erred in denying defendant’s Penal Code section 1170.95 (now 1172.6) resentencing petition after finding he could still be convicted of murder for stabbing the victim, because the jury’s not true finding on a knife use allegation precluded this determination. In 1992, defendant was convicted of second degree murder after a man was stabbed to death in a street brawl with multiple people. He filed a section 1172.6 resentencing petition, which was summarily denied. This decision was reversed on appeal and, on remand, the trial court held a (d)(3) hearing. No new evidence was presented. The trial court denied…

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Name: People v. Burgess (2023) 88 Cal.App.5th 592
Case #: C094813
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/23/2023

The evidence presented at the hearing on defendant’s resentencing petition (Pen. Code, § 1172.6) was insufficient to support a finding of attempted robbery. Burgess appealed the trial court’s denial of his resentencing petition, rendered after the court conducted an independent analysis of the record and evidence presented at a hearing. He argued that that the trial court’s factual findings revealed the crime of attempted theft by false pretenses and not attempted robbery (attempted robbery was the predicate felony to felony murder). Held: Reversed. After defendant was convicted in the underlying case, People v. Williams (2013) 57 Cal.4th 776 clarified the…

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