(1) straight outta the 2nd reversed denial of romero and anyway the sentence was cruel and unusual under california constitution … so so so much good languagein this won [sic intended]:

“For these reasons, no reasonable person could agree that
the sentence imposed on Avila was just. Avila’s prior strikes
were remote and committed when he was of diminished
culpability based on his age, a factor the trial court erroneously
concluded was inapplicable to the formulation of his sentence.
Despite the trial court’s characterization of the facts, Avila’s

current offenses were not violent and, on the spectrum of
criminal behavior, fall closer to the end of less reprehensible
conduct. Much of his criminal conduct appears to be related to
his drug addiction rather than to sinister motives and falls well
outside the realm of what could be considered the work of a
career criminal. We therefore conclude that the trial court
abused its discretion by denying Avila’s Romero motion.”

This is like too much i’m going to cry:

“Worse, Avila’s sentence is cruel or unusual punishment
under the California Constitution, article I, section 17.1…”

and you can bet your ass my ass is quoting this in like every brief on anything ever in the future:

“We are aware that lengthy sentences like the one imposed
on Avila have been common, especially when the Three Strikes
law was at play. However, common is not synonymous with
constitutional. What has become routine should not blunt our
constitutional senses to what shocks the conscience and offends
fundamental notions of human dignity. Crushing oranges, even
for the purpose of trying to steal or to extort money, is not
constitutionally worthy of the sentence imposed where, as here,
the defendant’s criminal history on close examination cannot
bear its share of such a sentence.”

Oh, and another thing:

“There comes a time when the people who populate the
justice system must take a fresh look at old habits and the
profound consequences they have in undermining our
institutional credibility and public confidence. In Avila’s case,
the time is now.”

check it: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B294632.PDF ;

(2) ca sup ct reversed 2nd degree murder conviction for IAC for failing to investigate time of death https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S249274.PDF; and

(3) CA sup ct reverses fetal murder conviction in DP case because hearsay about viability of fetus. ETA: no error for admission of DNA cold hit evidence. https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S154459.PDF

Published by Jenny Brandt

About Me: sociology, african american studies, chicano/a studies, critical race studies, and criminal law scholar. public school kid from kindergarten-J.D. Former public defender. I am a post-conviction guru. Appeals. Sentencing. Withdraw Pleas. Habeas. Published author in the Criminal Law Bulletin and California Defender. "I do it for the joy it brings, because I'm a joyful girl, because the world owes me nothing, and we owe each other the world." Why I started JJC: My PD buddy suggested it. What and who JJC is inspired by: public defenders I have worked for, with, and next to. my clients who have battled things no one should and are still here. innocence and guilt and everything in between. My coworkers, who fight just as hard as the PDs I love, for many of the same reasons. My husband who was once voted "most Christ like" (every Jewish girl's dream). My Corgi who loves everyone. The constitution. Tabloids. My mom, for giving me a voice. My dad, for teaching me what to say. My brother, for teaching me how to say it.


  1. wow  – i have a guy at folsom who needs to hear this

    Dennise S. Henderson, Esq.Law office of Dennise Henderson 1903 Twenty First Street | Sacramento, CA 95811  Direct Dial: (916) 456-2027 | Direct Fax: (916) 456-2035 |  E-mail: dshendersonlaw@yahoo.com |

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