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Name: People v. McClure
Case #: H048280
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/17/2021

Penal Code section 1170.95 does not apply to individuals charged with murder but convicted by plea of voluntary manslaughter. In 2016, McClure was initially charged with deliberate and premeditated murder for her participation in events leading to the victim's death. She pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and related charges, and admitted a great bodily injury allegation, in exchange for a stipulated 25-year sentence. In 2020, McClure petitioned for resentencing pursuant to section 1170.95. After appointment of counsel and argument, the trial court denied the petition, concluding a person convicted of voluntary manslaughter is ineligible for relief. McClure appealed. Held:…

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Name: People v. Cervantes
Case #: B298077
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/30/2020

A defendant convicted of voluntary manslaughter is not eligible to petition for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95. In 2012, Cervantes entered a no contest plea to voluntary manslaughter (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (a)) after being charged with murder and was sentenced to an aggregate term of 13 years in state prison. In 2019, he filed a section 1170.95 petition for resentencing. The trial court denied the petition, ruling Cervantes was not eligible for relief under section 1170.95. Cervantes appealed. Held: Affirmed. Penal Code section 1170.95, subdivision (a) provides, in relevant part, "A person convicted of felony murder…

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Name: People v. Flores
Case #: D075826
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/03/2020

A person charged with murder and convicted of voluntary manslaughter pursuant to a plea agreement cannot invoke the resentencing provision of SB 1437. In 2013, Flores and codefendants were charged with the murder of John Doe during the commission of a robbery. Flores pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter as part of plea agreement. In 2019, the trial court denied her petition for resentencing under SB 1437, finding the resentencing provision (Pen. Code, § 1170.95) was available only to qualifying persons convicted of murder, not voluntary manslaughter. Flores appealed. Held: Affirmed. SB 1437 was enacted for the express purpose of amending…

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Name: People v. Turner
Case #: D075788
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/19/2020

A defendant who faced murder liability under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in lieu of trial, is not eligible for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95 (SB 1437). In 2005, Turner and two codefendants got in a physical altercation with the victim. One of the codefendants pulled out a handgun, and shot and killed the victim. All three were charged with first degree murder. Turner pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. In 2019, Turner filed a petition pursuant to section 1170.95 seeking to vacate his voluntary manslaughter conviction. The trial court denied the petition.…

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Name: People v. Sanchez
Case #: E072647
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/07/2020

Penal Code section 1170.95 relief is not available to those offenders who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and the statute does not violate equal protection principles. In 2010, Sanchez was charged with first degree murder but he ultimately pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. In 2019, he petitioned for resentencing under section 1170.95. The trial court denied the petition, concluding section 1170.95 provides relief for murder convictions only. Sanchez appealed. Held: Affirmed. Sanchez argued that section 1170.95, subdivision (a)(2) contained an ambiguity that must be interpreted in his favor to avoid surplusage. Moreover, he argued legislative intent supported interpreting section 1170.95…

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Name: People v. Paige
Case #: A157494
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/25/2020

Relief pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95 is not available to defendants who were charged with murder but convicted of voluntary manslaughter under a plea agreement. Paige filed a petition requesting that his manslaughter conviction be vacated based on the changes to the law of murder made by SB 1437. He argued that he accepted a plea offer in lieu of a murder trial, and that he could not now be convicted of murder after SB 1437 invalidated the natural and probable consequences and felony murder doctrines. The trial court denied the petition, because Paige, although charged with felony murder,…

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