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People v. Valencia

Filed 7/3/17 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S223825 v. ) ) Ct.App. 5 F067946 DAVID J. VALENCIA, ) ) Tuolumne County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. CRF30714 ____________________________________) ) THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S223676 v. ) ) Ct.App. 3 C073949 CLIFFORD PAUL CHANEY, ) ) Amador County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. 05CR08104 ____________________________________) In November 2012, California voters enacted Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Proposition 36 or Three Strikes Reform Act). With some exceptions, Proposition 36 modified California‘s ―Three Strikes‖ law to reduce the punishment imposed when a defendant‘s third felony conviction is not serious or violent. (Pen. Code,1 § 667, subd. (e)(2)(C), as amended by Prop. 36, 1 All statutory references are to the Penal Code unless otherwise noted. SEE CONCURRING & DISSENTING OPINIONS § 2, approved by the voters at Gen. Elec. (Nov. 6, 2012).) It also enacted a procedure governing inmates sentenced under the former Three Strikes law whose third strike was neither serious nor violent, permitting them to petition for resentencing in accordance with Proposition 36‘s new sentencing provisions. (§ 1170.126, subd. (e), as added by Prop. 36, § 2, approved by the voters at Gen. Elec. (Nov. 6, 2012).) The resentencing provisions provide, however, that an inmate will be denied resentencing if ―the court, in its discretion, determines that resentencing the petitioner would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.‖ (§ 1170.126, subd. (f), as added by Prop. 36, § 6, approved by the voters at Gen. Elec. (Nov. 6, 2012).) Proposition 36 did not define the phrase ―unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.‖ Two years later, in November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (Proposition 47). Proposition 47 reduced certain drug-related and theft-related offenses that previously were felonies or ―wobblers‖2 to misdemeanors. (§ 1170.18, added by Prop. 47, § 14, approved by the voters at the Gen. Elec. (Nov. 4, 2014).) It also enacted a procedure permitting inmates who are serving felony sentences for offenses that Proposition 47 reduced to misdemeanors to petition to have their felony convictions reclassified as misdemeanors and to be resentenced based on the reclassification. Like Proposition 36, Proposition 47 gave resentencing courts discretion to decline to impose a lesser sentence if resentencing ―would result in an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.‖ (§ 1170.18, subd. (b)(3).) In 2 Wobblers are ―a special class of crimes involving conduct that varies widely in its level of seriousness,‖ and may therefore be ―chargeable or . . . punishable as either a felony or a misdemeanor.‖ (People v. Park (2013) 56 Cal.4th 782, 789; see also People v. Kunkel (1985) 176 Cal.App.3d 46, 51, fn. 3.) 2 contrast to Proposition 36, however, Proposition 47 restricted that discretion by defining the phrase ―unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.‖ (§ 1170.18, subd. (c).) It stated: ―As used throughout this Code, …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court