In addition to restoring precedential effect to part of a high-profile Court of Appeal bail opinion pending review, Supreme Court actions of note at its Wednesday conference included:
- The court will review two Court of Appeal opinions, decided a day apart, that reached opposite conclusions about whether defendants convicted many years ago — but recently subject to resentencing — for crimes committed when they were minors can invoke Proposition 57, a 2016 initiative that limits trying crimes by minors in criminal court. The Supreme Court will be refining its decision in People v. Superior Court (Lara) (2018) 4 Cal.5th 299, 304, which held the initiative’s juvenile-transfer provision “applies to all juveniles charged directly in adult court whose judgment was not final at the time it was enacted.” (See here.) Also likely implicated will be the court’s February decision in People v. McKenzie (2020) 9 Cal.5th 40 that analyzed when a judgment of conviction becomes final (see here) and the pending case of People v. Esquivel (see here and below).
- In People v. Federico, a Fourth District, Division Two, published opinion held Proposition 57 inapplicable to a defendant who pleaded guilty in 2008 to committing an assault with a firearm when he was 15, but who was resentenced in 2018 on recommendation of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
- In People v. Padilla, the Second District, Division Four, in a published opinion, did apply Proposition 57 retroactively. The defendant there was sentenced in 1999 to life without parole for a murder he committed at age 16. Based on U.S. Supreme Court LWOP-for-minors case law, his sentence was vacated and he had two resentencing hearings, the last in 2019.
- When the court granted review two weeks ago in People v. Esquivel and People v. Shelton, which raise the same issue about when a criminal judgment is final, we thought one of the cases might be converted to a grant-and-hold. The court did that yesterday, making Shelton a grant-and-hold for Esquivel.
- There were 4 criminal case grant-and-holds: two more holding for a decision in People v. Lewis (see here); one more holding for People v. Lopez (see here); and one more holding for People v. Lemcke (originally People v. Rudd) (see here).
- The court continued the wholesale dumping of cases that were on hold for June’s decision in People v. Frahs, dismissing review in 21 and transferring for reconsideration in three. (One of the dismissals was in People v. Laut, where the Court of Appeal mostly affirmed the conviction of Jane Laut, who killed her husband, an Olympic medalist in the shot put. (See here.)) Previously, if our math is right, the court had dismissed review in or transferred 66 other Frahs grant-and-holds. (See here, here, and here.)
- The court granted-and-transferred one case, directing reconsideration in light of the July decision in People v. Anderson.
- The court also granted and transferred People v. Sims, but that was done at the request of the Court of Appeal, because, the appellate court said, “Through inadvertence, the opinion became final before the [appellate] court could process the [defendant’s rehearing] petition fully.”