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People v. Estrada

Filed 7/24/17 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S232114 v. ) ) Ct.App. 2/8 B260573 MARIO R. ESTRADA, ) ) Los Angeles County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. GA025008 ____________________________________) Under the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012, certain inmates may file a ―recall‖ petition to reduce their punishment for third-strike sentences imposed on them for offenses that are neither serious nor violent felonies. (Pen. Code § 1170.126, subds. (b), (e).)1 When a court evaluates a petition to recall such a sentence, may it find an inmate ineligible for relief because certain facts underlying a previously dismissed count show the inmate was ―armed with a firearm or deadly weapon‖ during the commission of the third strike offense? (See §§ 1170.12, subd. (c)(2)(C)(iii), 1170.126, subd. (e)(2).) The trial court in this case relied on preliminary hearing testimony to find that Mario Estrada was indeed armed during the commission of his 1996 theft offense. The court did so 1 All subsequent statutory citations are to the Penal Code, unless otherwise noted. 1 notwithstanding the dismissal — pursuant to Estrada‘s plea agreement — of a robbery count and a firearm use allegation connected to the same incident. What we hold is that a trial court may deny resentencing under the Act on the basis of facts underlying previously dismissed counts. Because the trial court denied recall of Estrada‘s sentence in a manner consistent with this rule, the appellate court properly affirmed the trial court — and we now affirm that judgment. I. In 1996, defendant Mario Estrada pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft from a person under section 487, subdivision (c). Under a plea agreement, the prosecution dismissed a firearm use allegation (former § 12022.5, subd. (a)) related to the count of conviction, and robbery (§ 211), burglary (§ 459) and false imprisonment by violence (§ 236) counts based on the same incident that led to the conviction. The prosecution also dismissed several additional counts based on unrelated conduct alleged to have occurred on other dates. Estrada further admitted to two prior convictions qualifying as strikes under the ―Three Strikes‖ law,2 and the trial court sentenced him to an indeterminate term of 25 years to life. Sixteen years later, the electorate approved Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Proposition 36, or the Act). Among other reforms, the Act amended the Penal Code to permit recall of sentence for some inmates 2 The Three Strikes law consists of two nearly identical statutory schemes. (People v. Conley (2016) 63 Cal.4th 646, 652 (Conley).) The first was enacted by the Legislature in March 1994, and appears in section 667 (as amended by Stats. 1994, ch. 12, § 1, p. 71). The second was adopted by ballot initiative several months later, and appears in section 1170.12. Both were amended by Proposition 36. (Voter Information Guide, Gen. Elec. (Nov. 6, 2012) §§ 2, 4, pp. 105, 107.) The differences between the statutes …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court