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Name: People v. Contreras
Case #: G047603
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/18/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 1/29/2014: S215516

Defendant sentenced just prior to effective date of the Three Strikes Reform Act and whose case is not final is entitled to retroactive application of new law. A jury found appellant guilty of spousal battery (Pen. Code, § 273.5, subd. (a)) and misdemeanor assault (Pen. Code, § 240). The court found two prior "strikes" true. On October 19, 2012, the court imposed a 25-years-to-life sentence pursuant to the Three Strikes law. On appeal, appellant claimed that Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Reform Act, should preclude his life sentence. Held: Reversed. Under the Reform Act, effective November 7, 2012, a life…

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Name: People v. Lester
Case #: E055009
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/07/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 1/15/2014: S214648

Defendant serving indeterminate Three Strikes sentence that was not final when the Three Strikes Reform Act (Proposition 36) was enacted is not entitled to an automatic sentence reduction under the new law. A jury convicted Lester of possessing drugs for sale with enhancements and found he had three strike priors. On October 28, 2011, he was sentenced to 25 years to life, plus six years. On appeal, he argued that his sentence should automatically be reduced based on Proposition 36 and In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740. Held: Affirmed. On November 6, 2012, Proposition 36 was enacted while Lester's…

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Name: People v. Doyle
Case #: C067741
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/29/2013

Prior conviction for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (DUI manslaughter) may be used both to elevate a defendant's current DUI to a felony and as a strike prior. Doyle was previously convicted of DUI manslaughter pursuant to Penal Code section 191.5, subdivision (a). His current DUI offense was elevated to a felony based on the DUI manslaughter prior. In addition, the same prior was used as one of two strikes, resulting in a 25-year-to-life sentence. Doyle challenged the multiple use of his prior on statutory and constitutional grounds. Held: Affirmed. Under Vehicle Code section 23550.5, a current DUI may be…

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Name: In re Brown
Case #: B245677
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 08/14/2013

Habeas petition granted where petitioner improperly admitted a prior juvenile adjudication that did not qualify as a prior strike. After Brown was convicted by a jury of felony vandalism, he discussed a prior strike allegation with his attorney and agreed to admit it. Trial counsel advised Brown to admit the allegation based solely on uncorroborated statements in documents that would have been inadmissible to prove the prior conviction, as well as Brown's own description of the offense. The trial court doubled Brown's sentence based on the prior strike. Brown's appellate counsel obtained the record of the juvenile proceedings and discovered…

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Name: People v. Wilson
Case #: H037262
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/05/2013

Defendant was denied his right to jury trial where trial court found that prior vehicular manslaughter conviction was a strike, because personal infliction of great bodily injury is not an element of manslaughter. Wilson was originally sentenced to a term of 25 years to life for a 1999 drunk driving conviction with two prior strikes. The strikes were based on Wilson's plea in a 1993 drunk driving offense, in which one person was killed and another injured. In sentencing Wilson for the 1999 offense, the trial court examined the preliminary hearing transcript of the 1993 case and found Wilson had…

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Name: Teal v. Superior Court
Case #: B247196
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 06/19/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 7/29/13: S211708

Prisoner was ineligible for resentencing under amended Three Strikes law because one of his priors was for a sexually violent offense. Teal is serving a life term under the Three Strikes law following his conviction for criminal threats in 1996. In January 2013, the trial court denied Teal's petition for recall of sentence pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.126. Teal filed a notice of appeal, and his attorney filed a Wende brief. The appellate court found that the order denying the resentencing was not an appealable order because the trial court's threshold eligibility determination under section 1170.126, which is based…

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Name: People v. Conley
Case #: C070272
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/02/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 8/14/2013: S211275

Defendant whose appeal was pending when the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Proposition 36) went into effect was not entitled to be resentenced under amended Penal Code section 1170.12 but may petition for recall of sentence. After the court filed its decision affirming Conley's conviction for multiple vehicle offenses with two prior strikes, Conley filed a petition for rehearing seeking the benefit of the modification of the Three Strikes law via Proposition 36, relying on In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740. The appellate court found that Conley would not have been subject to a 25-to-life sentence…

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Name: People v. Delgado
Case #: B240880
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/25/2013
Subsequent History: opn. following rehg. 4/20/2013 (nonsubstantive changes)

A defendant who otherwise would be eligible for local incarceration under the Realignment Act, but has a prior juvenile adjudication for a serious or violent felony, is ineligible for local incarceration. Appellant was convicted of resisting an executive officer (Pen. Code, § 69) and admitted two "strikes." Section 69 provides for imprisonment at the local level, pursuant to section 1170, subdivision (h). The trial court struck one of the "strikes," and sentenced appellant to a six-year term, but declined to order the imposed term served locally. The court reasoned that appellant was not entitled to local incarceration…

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Name: People v. Yearwood
Case #: F063712
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/29/2013

Resentencing based on revisions to strikes law is not available on appeal to otherwise qualified defendants whose case is not yet final and who received a life term prior to the effective date of Proposition 36. In September 2011, appellant, who had two prior strikes, was convicted of possession marijuana in prison (Pen. Code, § 4573.6), which is not a serious felony. On October 24, 2011, the court sentenced appellant to 25 years to life. On appeal he asked for reversal of his sentence based on the November 6, 2012 revisions to the strikes law (Prop. 36). Held: Affirmed. The…

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Name: People v. Griffis
Case #: C070266
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/14/2013

Under the 2011 Realignment Act, a prior "strike" conviction disqualifying a defendant from local custody need not be pled and proven, but there must be sufficient evidence that the out-of-state conviction qualifies as a California "strike." Defendant pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine and stolen property and was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison rather than local custody. In denying local custody, the court relied on appellant's prior conviction for a Washington state residential burglary. Under the statute implementing the Realignment Act, there is no requirement that, for purposes of place of incarceration, the disqualifying…

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