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Name: People v. Santos (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 666
Case #: C096979
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/14/2024

A defendant whose sentence is recalled pursuant to Penal Code section 1172.75 to strike a prison prior enhancement is not entitled to application of the Three Strikes Reform Act (Proposition 36) at resentencing. Originally sentenced in 2007, defendant received a term of 25 years to life for drug offenses under the original Three Strikes law, prior prison term enhancements (Pen. Code, § 667.5(b)), and prior drug conviction enhancements (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.2(b)). At a 2022 section 1172.75 resentencing hearing to dismiss now invalid terms, the trial court struck the prison prior and drug conviction enhancements but left intact…

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Name: People v. Dain (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 399
Case #: A168286
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/31/2024

Penal Code section 1385(c) does not apply to the decision of whether to dismiss a prior strike conviction under the Three Strikes law. Defendant was convicted of several felonies. After his first appeal, the Court of Appeal remanded the matter for resentencing based on new ameliorative legislation. At resentencing, the trial court granted defendant’s Romero motion. The People appealed, challenging the sentence imposed by the trial court. Held: Reversed. Senate Bill No. 81 added subdivision (c) to section 1385, which now provides that “the court shall dismiss an enhancement if it is in the furtherance of justice to do so,” and…

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Name: People v. Nunez (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 362
Case #: G061346
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/20/2023

Provocation to reduce first degree murder to second degree murder must come from the victim, not a third party. After hearing a rumor that the victim had raped a child, and being encouraged to exact revenge, defendants Gallegos and Nunez chased and beat the victim with metal pipes, and Gallegos stabbed him with a knife six times. In response to a jury question, the trial court instructed that in order for provocation to reduce first degree murder to second degree murder, the provocation must come from the victim, not a third party. Gallegos was convicted of first degree murder and related…

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Name: People v. Aguirre (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 488
Case #: B323282
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/16/2023

A gang-enhanced felony committed before Assembly Bill No. 333’s effective date still qualifies as a prior serious felony within the meaning of the Three Strikes law. In 2022, defendant was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, ammunition, and a machine gun. As to each charge it was alleged that defendant suffered a 2021 prior strike conviction for possessing a firearm for the benefit of a criminal street gang (§ 186.22, subd. (b)(1)). Defendant moved to dismiss the prior strike allegations, contending his violation of section 186.22 no longer qualified as a serious felony conviction after the passage of AB 333,…

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Name: People v. Kimble (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 582
Case #: C097389
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/14/2023
Subsequent History: Opinion depublished and matter transferred to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration on 10/25/2023 (S281526)

A resentencing hearing to strike prior prison term enhancements (Senate Bill No. 483) does not entitle the defendant to also seek relief under the Three Strikes Reform Act (Prop. 36). Kimble is serving a life sentence under the Three Strikes law. In 2013, his petition for resentencing under Prop. 36 was denied based on a finding he posed an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety if resentenced. In July 2022, the trial court appointed counsel for Kimble pursuant to SB 483 and he filed a motion to strike his prior prison term enhancement, which was granted. He appealed the…

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Name: People v. Farias (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 619
Case #: C094195
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/26/2023
Subsequent History: Ordered published 6/14/2023

Considering changes to the law governing gang offenses, the trial court lacked substantial evidence to support its finding that defendant’s prior conviction under Penal Code section 186.22(a) was for a serious felony. Farias and Miranda were convicted of attempted murder and assault offenses after attacking and stabbing a fellow prison inmate. They appealed, raising multiple issues. Held: Remanded for resentencing and retrial of Miranda’s prior section 186.22(a) conviction. Miranda argued there was insufficient evidence that his 2009 prior conviction under section 186.22(a) was for a serious felony under current law, relying on People v. Rodriguez (2012) 55 Cal.4th 1125 and…

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Name: People v. Burke (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 237
Case #: C096164
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/13/2023

The amendments to Penal Code section 1385 enacted by Senate Bill No. 81 do not apply to the Three Strikes law under which a prior strike conviction is part of an alternative sentencing scheme and not an enhancement. At sentencing, trial counsel argued the court should consider SB 81’s changes to section 1385 when determining whether to strike or impose appellant’s prior strike conviction. The trial court declined and doubled appellant’s sentence based on his prior strike. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. SB 81 amended section 1385 to add specific mitigating factors the trial court must consider when deciding whether to…

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Name: People v. Hiller (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 335
Case #: A165126
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/09/2023

Prior convictions for robbery in Washington State did not support prior serious or violent conviction sentencing enhancement in California. The trial court found true the allegations that defendant had been convicted of three serious or violent felonies in Washington, specifically robbery. These offenses were used to treat his current offenses as third strike offenses and to impose two five-year enhancements. Hiller appealed, arguing the evidence did not support the trial court's findings related to his prior convictions in Washington State. Held: True findings of prior convictions reversed, remanded. The elements of robbery in Washington are broader than those in California,…

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Name: In re Bolton
Case #: C088774
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/30/2019

Petitioner's 91-year sentence for juvenile offenses violates the Eighth Amendment and the issue was not moot because he is not eligible for a youth offender parole hearing. Bolton received a 91-year sentence for crimes committed when he was 16. When he was 30 years old, a sharp metal object was found in his cell. He was convicted of possession of a sharp instrument in prison and sentenced to 25 years to life under the Three Strikes law. Bolton filed habeas petitions challenging his sentence as cruel and unusual punishment and seeking youth offender treatment. The California Supreme…

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Name: People v. Buchanan
Case #: A153155
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 08/28/2019

Trial courts have discretion to impose concurrent sentences for multiple serious or violent felonies against a single victim if they were committed on the same occasion. In 2017, college student Jane Doe mistakenly got into defendant's vehicle, believing he was her Uber driver. Defendant drove Doe to a wooded area and refused to let her out. Doe distracted defendant by agreeing to orally copulate him, then escaped through a window. A jury convicted defendant of kidnapping to commit a sex offense (count 1); assault with intent to commit a sex offense (count 2); and failure to register…

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