Holy COW! Sentence modified because mandatory use enhancement was cruel and unusual (as applied)

14 Feb

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I remember reading about this super sad case where this young woman shot a guy who had crashed her birthday party, beat up her father, and then appeared to be retrieving something (a weapon?) from his car.  She was convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter, mayhem (he was paralyzed, but really with that charge?!) and shooting at an occupied vehicle.  She was sentenced to 27 years to life because of the 25 year use clause which applied solely because of the mayhem conviction.  Seriously, fuck the DA for adding that charge. That’s terrible.

The judge lamented imposing the lengthy term.  Jurors wrote declarations saying they were upset about the sentence; one juror said he felt betrayed.  The public defender cried at sentencing.

The first district ruled this was a cruel and unusual sentence, recognizing how rare its decision was.  Even better, this is a published case.  The COA then modified the sentence to 12 years.  How it reached that number is kind of odd.  They did not remand the case to the trial court for resentencing, and 12 years was not the sentence had the 25 year enhancement not been applied.  Had the enhancement not been applied, the sentence would have been 2 years.  The COA felt 2 years was too lenient. They modified the sentence to 12 years because the trial court had stayed a 12 year term for the attempted voluntary manslaughter conviction.

Anyway, what a remarkable result. 12 years is still a lot for this crime in light of the mitigating circumstances, but what a victory.


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