Juveniles who were already resentenced from LWOP to Life can still petition for resentencing under 1170(d)

25 Oct

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Lovely opinion today.  Juveniles were given LWOP. After Graham, they were resentenced to life with the possibility of parole. After 1170(d) was passed, which allows juveniles sentenced to LWOP to petition for resentencing and was enacted because of Graham, the now grown men petitioned for resentencing and were both released on probation with life terms suspended. The prosecution appealed, arguing that 1170(d) did not apply to them because they had already been resentenced from LWOP to life.  The COA disagreed, saying that the plain language of 1170(d) requires only that the juvenile was originally sentenced to LWOP and the statute makes no mention of the situation where a juvenile was originally sentenced to LWOP but then had that sentence modified due to Graham.  Apart from the beauty of the holding itself, this opinion is lovely because it has some good one-liners:

“The People seek refuge under the plain meaning rule. We understand the People’s point but we cannot, in good conscience, subscribe to the “‘dictionary school of jurisprudence.’” (See, e.g., People v. Clayburg (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 86, 91.)”

“The People should not be hoist on their own “plain meaning” petard.”

“In an appropriate case, the letter of the law should gracefully and charitably succumb to the spirit of justice.”

Imma be quoting some of deeeese lines for days.

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