Appeals From Denials of Orders Striking Enhancements That Are Now Unauthorized Must Be Dismissed—C.A.
Yegan Says Petitioners Have Served Their Sentences,
Trial Court Has No Power to Provide Relief; No Appeal
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Legislature’s abrogation of prior-prison-term enhancements except as to prison terms that were served for sexually violent offenses does not mean that persons who have completed their sentences which included such now-unauthorized enhancements may go to court and have the enhancements wiped out, Div. Six of the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday.
Justice Kenneth Yegan wrote for Div. Six in dismissing appeals of two ex-convicts who were denied relief when they petitioned to have the enhancements stricken.
Yegan said that Penal Code §1172.75, effective Jan. 1, 2022, “invalidated appellants’ prior prison term enhancements” but the section “does not authorize appellants to file a petition or a motion to strike the unauthorized enhancements.”
Dismissal of each of the separate appeals is required, he said, explaining:
“The orders appealed from are nonappealable because the trial court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate the petitions.”
The jurist commented:
“[Penal Code] Section 1237, subdivision (b) provides that a defendant may appeal ‘[f]rom any order made after judgment, affecting the substantial rights of the party’ (Italics added.) The present appeals are examples of an all-too-familiar pattern in which the Court of Appeal is becoming a court of purported postjudgment appeals from orders that are nonappealable because they do not affect the appellant’s substantial rights.”
“We are quick to observe that we would grant habeas corpus relief if it were shown that a prisoner was confined solely because of a now ‘invalid’ prior prison term.”
The case is People v. Escobedo, B322608.
Copyright 2023, Metropolitan News Company