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People v. Martinez

Filed 3/29/18 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S231826 v. ) ) Ct.App. 4/2 E063107 MARIO MARTINEZ, ) ) Riverside County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. RIF136990 ____________________________________) In November 2014, California voters enacted Proposition 47, which reduced certain drug- and theft-related offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. The initiative also authorizes inmates currently serving sentences for a reclassified crime to petition the court for resentencing: “A person who, on November 5, 2014, was serving a sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or plea, of a felony or felonies who would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under the act that added this section (‘this act’) had this act been in effect at the time of the offense may petition for a recall of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her case to request resentencing in accordance with Sections 11350, 11357, or 11377 of the Health and Safety Code, or Section 459.5, 473, 476a, 490.2, 496, or 666 of the Penal Code, as those sections have been amended or added by this act.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a).) Defendant Mario Martinez filed a petition for resentencing on two felony convictions for offenses he committed in 2007: one for possession of SEE CONCURRING OPINION methamphetamine, the other for transportation of methamphetamine. The district attorney agreed that Proposition 47 reduced the possession offense to a misdemeanor, and the trial court found Martinez eligible for resentencing on that offense. But the trial court, observing that Proposition 47 did not expressly reduce the transportation offense to a misdemeanor, found Martinez ineligible for resentencing on the transportation offense. On appeal, Martinez argued that he is eligible for resentencing on the transportation offense because the electorate passed Proposition 47 against the backdrop of a 2013 enactment providing that transportation of drugs without intent to sell is no longer a felony. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument, holding that only offenders convicted of a felony offense enumerated in Proposition 47’s resentencing provision may have their crimes reduced to misdemeanors. As our recent opinion in People v. Page (2017) 3 Cal.5th 1175, 1182–1187 (Page) indicates, this reasoning by the Court of Appeal was erroneous. But the Court of Appeal further explained that Martinez is ineligible for resentencing because “[i]f Proposition 47 had been in effect when defendant committed his offense in 2007, he would still be guilty of a felony not covered by Proposition 47 . . . .” We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal on this latter ground. I. In May 2007, police arrested Martinez after stopping a car in which he was a passenger and discovering a plastic bag containing methamphetamine near his feet. A jury convicted him of transportation of methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, former § 11379, as amended by Stats. 2001, ch. 841, § 7) and possession of methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, former § 11377, as amended by …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court