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People v. Valliant (Cal. Ct. App., Oct. 14, 2020, No. G058568) 2020 WL 6054332, at *1–6

Summary: Valliant petitioned pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.91, subdivision (b),1  which authorizes  recall of sentencing for military veterans who suffer from military-related trauma and substance abuse, who did not have those factors considered as mitigating factors when they were originally sentenced. The court denied his petition on the basis that section 1170.91, subdivision (b)(1)(B) (subdivision (b)(1)(B)) authorizes resentencing relief only for persons who were sentenced before January 1, 2015. Valliant who was sentenced in March of 2015.

Valliant argued that resentencing relief is available to all veterans whose military-related trauma was not considered at their initial sentencing, without regard to when that sentencing took place. The Court of Appel affirmed  the order. Subdivision (b)(1)(B) clearly specifies that its resentencing relief is limited to cases in which “[t]he person was sentenced prior to January 1, 2015.” It further specifies that “[t]his subdivision shall apply retroactively, whether or not the case was final as of January 1, 2015” (italics added). The statutory limitation is unequivocal.

People v. Brown (2020) 52 Cal.App.5th 899, 904–910 [267 Cal.Rptr.3d 79, 84–89, 52 Cal.App.5th 899, 904–910], review filed (Sept. 8, 2020)

 Brown was convicted by jury of murder and at his sentencing, the trial court resentenced him for a  cocaine possession case. He was sentenced to  consecutive terms and the court  and applied Penal Code section 2933.21 (which prohibits defendants convicted of murder from earning presentence conduct credits) and Brown received no presentence conduct credits. It then awarded 923 days of actual custody credits.

Brown challenges the application of section 2933.2 to the period of custody following his cocaine possession charge and preceding his murder charge. He also challenges the award of actual custody credits. The Court of Appeal  addressed these issues.

Court discretion under 1170(d)

 Penal Code section 1170(d)(1) states: “The court resentencing under this paragraph may reduce a defendant’s term of imprisonment and modify the judgment, including a judgment entered after a plea agreement, if it is in the interest of justice.”  (Pen. Code, § 1170(d)(1))

Does the court’s authority to “modify the judgment” include reducing or dismissing charges?

People v. McCallum (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 30, 2020, No. B301267) 2020 WL 5810212, at *1

Resentencing under Penal Code 1170(d)(1)

Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (d)(1) authorizes the trial court to modify a defendant’s sentence upon a recommendation from the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Department), the Board of Parole Hearings, or the district attorney to “recall the sentence and commitment previously ordered and resentence the defendant in the same manner as if they had not previously been sentenced ….”

People v. D.C. (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 16, 2020, No. F078629) 2020 WL 5542090, at *1–5

Summary:

D.C. petitioned to seal his arrest record under Penal Code section 851.91 after pleading no contest to possession of a controlled substance and successfully completing treatment and probation pursuant to section 1210.1.the trial court ruled that he was ineligible for relief under section 851.91. D.C. appealed claiming he  qualifies for relief under section 851.91 as a person whose arrest did not result in a conviction because his arrest and conviction are deemed never to have occurred pursuant to section 1210.1, subdivision (e)(1).

People v. Cooper (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 1, 2020, No. A156880) 2020 WL 5175210

 Summary:

Cooper was convicted by no contest plea of one count of second degree murder and filed petition for resentencing, alleging he pleaded no contest because he had faced possibility of conviction of first or second degree murder under felony murder or natural and probable consequences theory. The Superior Court, Alameda County, denied the petition without appointing counsel. Cooper appealed and the  Court of Appeal, Humes,  held that:

People v. DelRio (Cal. Ct. App., Aug. 31, 2020, No. B298637) 2020 WL 5104917

Facts:

DelRio and his cousin Raul Prieto had a gunfight in front of a house on a cul-de-sac. Prieto shot his nine-millimeter pistol 15 times but missed every time. DelRio fired his .40-caliber pistol twice and each bullet hit Prieto. Each shot was fatal.

The State Supreme Court posted an order on the docket of In re Humphrey (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 1006, pending as # S247278, making Part III of the Court of Appeal decision in the case legal precedent. That part of the  appellate opinion holds that due process requires consideration of the defendant’s financial circumstances in setting conditions of release. And it holds that bail schedules cannot be used by the court in setting conditions for release of a defendant when pretrial detention is not required.

Background of the case in San Francisco Superior Court

Humphrey, a retired shipyard laborer, then 63 years of age and a lifelong resident of San Francisco was arrested and charged with first degree robbery (Pen. Code, § 211),3 first degree residential burglary (§ 459), inflicting injury (but not great bodily injury) on an elder and dependent adult (§ 368, subd. (c)), and theft from an elder or dependent adult, charged as a misdemeanor. (§ 368, subd. (d).)

People v. McGee, 2020 WL 4783643 (Cal.App. 3 Dist.); filed 7/28/20; published 8/18/20

Facts and Procedural Background

 On July 28, 2018, Stockton Police Officers initiated a traffic stop of McGee’s car after noticing its registration had expired. The officers noted the scent of unburned marijuana. McGee denied having any marijuana in the car. But an officer saw an unsealed bag of marijuana in the passenger’s cleavage. The officers  informed McGee they were going to search the car. McGee did not consent to a search. The bag of marijuana was seized from the passenger. A zipped purse on the passenger floorboard was searched for  “anything illegal, any contraband that could be in the vehicle.” A loaded handgun was seized from the purse.

People v. Ogaz, 2020 WL 4581253  (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2020) 07/14/2020; Modified 08/10/2020

Summary: Ignacio Ogaz appealed his conviction for and argued that his Sixth Amendment right to confront adverse witnesses was violated by the admission of drug testing evidence. The Court of Appeal held that the confrontation clause requires that the defendant have an opportunity to cross-examine the scientist who performed the analysis.

Facts: During a search of Ogaz, a Police Officer found a large baggie in his pocket which contained a brown powder that looked and smelled like heroin and a white crystal substance that looked like methamphetamine. The Officer weighed the powder and crystals and determined they had a combined weight of 10.5 grams. A presumptive test he performed showed that the powder tested positive for heroin, and the crystals tested positive for methamphetamine.

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