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People v. Contreras

Filed 2/26/18 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) S224564 Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) Ct.App. 4/1 D063428 v. ) ) San Diego County LEONEL CONTRERAS and ) Super. Ct. No. SCD236438 WILLIAM STEVEN RODRIGUEZ, ) ) Defendants and Appellants. ) ____________________________________) Defendants Leonel Contreras and William Rodriguez were convicted in a joint trial of kidnapping and sexual offenses they committed as 16 year olds. Rodriguez was sentenced to a term of 50 years to life, and Contreras was sentenced to a term of 58 years to life. We granted review to determine whether the sentences imposed on these juvenile nonhomicide offenders violate the Eighth Amendment as interpreted in People v. Caballero (2012) 55 Cal.4th 262, 268 (Caballero) and Graham v. Florida (2010) 560 U.S. 48 (Graham). We hold that these sentences are unconstitutional under the reasoning of Graham. I. On September 3, 2011, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 attended a birthday party for Doe 1’s uncle in the Rancho Peñasquitos area of San Diego County. Doe 1 was 16 years old, and Doe 2 was 15 years old. In the evening, Doe 1 and Doe 2 went for a walk to a greenbelt nearby and sat near a tree to talk. Two teenagers, later identified as Contreras and Rodriguez, walked past them dressed in dark SEE DISSENTING OPINIONS clothing and with their hoods up. Shortly thereafter, defendants walked up behind Doe 1 and Doe 2, tackled them, and forced them to walk across the street, up an embankment, and into a vegetated area. Contreras held a knife to Doe 1’s neck and told her to tell Doe 2 to “shut the fuck up” multiple times. Rodriguez covered Doe 2’s mouth with his hand, tied a bandana around her mouth, and threatened to hurt her if she screamed. Doe 2 repeatedly tried to get away, fell once from struggling, and at one point bit Rodriguez’s hand. Rodriguez raped and sodomized Doe 2. Contreras raped Doe 1 and forced her to orally copulate him. Rodriguez then raped and sodomized Doe 1 and forced her to orally copulate him. Contreras put a knife to Doe 2’s neck, raped her, and forced her to orally copulate him. Rodriguez forced Doe 2 and then Doe 1 to orally copulate him. Defendants then told Doe 1 and Doe 2 to get dressed. Rodriguez told Doe 1 and Doe 2 not to tell anyone what happened. One of the defendants said they would follow Doe 1 and Doe 2 home and come after them and one of Doe 1’s family members if they told anyone what had happened. Doe 1 and Doe 2 walked to the street and saw Doe 1’s parents, who had been searching for them. In 2012, defendants were charged as adults under former Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivisions (d)(1) and (d)(2)(A) (amended by Prop. 57, § 4.2, eff. Nov. 9, 2016) and were jointly tried before separate juries. A jury convicted Contreras of conspiracy to …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court