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The People v. William James P. Moon

March 29, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
WILLIAM JAMES P. MOON, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 62066138) APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Placer County, Larry D. Gaddis, Judge. Affirmed.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hull,j.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Defendant was convicted by a jury of second degree murder (Pen. Code, § 187, subd. (a)) stemming from a drunken driving incident in which a passenger in defendant's car was killed. (Unless otherwise designated, section references that follow are to the Penal Code.) The trial court suspended imposition of sentence and granted defendant formal probation for a period of 12 years, with four years in county jail. The court thereafter entered an order denying defendant conduct credits for his time in county jail, pursuant to section 2933.2.

Defendant appeals the order denying conduct credits, arguing section 2933.2 applies only to those who are sentenced to prison. We disagree and affirm the order.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

Because defendant does not appeal the underlying judgment and sentence, the facts may be briefly stated. Defendant was drinking and smoking marijuana one evening and later drove through a residential area at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. He lost control of his vehicle and crashed. A passenger in the vehicle was killed. An hour after the incident, defendant's blood alcohol level was .19.

Defendant was charged with second degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (§ 191.5, subd. (a)), and was convicted as charged. The trial court thereafter suspended imposition of sentence and granted defendant formal probation for a period of 12 years, with four years in county jail. Defendant was awarded 164 days of credit for time served prior to the sentencing hearing. Defendant waived his right to appeal the judgment and sentence as well as any objection to serving more than one year in the country jail.

After defendant learned his release date had been recalculated to reflect that he would not be earning any conduct credits while in jail, his counsel wrote the court asking for clarification. The court scheduled a hearing and the parties briefed the issue. The court ultimately ruled that defendant is not entitled to conduct credits while in county jail.

DISCUSSION

Defendant contends he is entitled to conduct credits under section 4019. At the time of the offense, section 4019 provided, among other things, that "[w]hen a prisoner is confined in or committed to a county jail, industrial farm, or road camp or any city jail, industrial farm, or road camp as a condition of probation after suspension of imposition of a sentence," he is entitled to one day of work credit and one day of conduct credit for each six-day period of confinement. (Former § 4019, subds. (a)(2), (b), (c); Stats. 1982, ch. 1234, § 7, p. 4553.) Recent amendments to section 4019, increasing the amount of conduct credits earned, do not apply to defendant because he was convicted of a serious felony. (See former § 4019, subds. (b)(2) & (c)(2); Stats. 2009, 3d Ex. Sess., ch. 28, § 50.)

The trial court denied defendant conduct credits based on section 2933.2. Section 2933.2, subdivision (a), reads: "Notwithstanding Section 2933.1 or any other law, any person who is convicted of murder, as defined in Section 187, shall not accrue any credit, as specified in Section 2933 or Section 2933.05." Section 2933 provides for conduct credits for persons convicted of a crime and sentenced to state prison, section 2933.05 provides for additional program credits, and section 2933.1 limits conduct credits to 15 percent for persons convicted of serious felonies.

But for those like defendant, who are incarcerated in county jail, section 2933.2, subdivision (c), reads: "Notwithstanding Section 4019 or any other provision of law, no credit pursuant to Section 4019 may be earned against a period of confinement in, or commitment to, a county jail, industrial farm, or road camp, or a city jail, industrial farm, or road camp, following arrest for any person specified in subdivision (a)."

Defendant contends section 2933.2 does not apply to him, because it is contained in Part 3, Title 1 of the Penal Code, which is titled "Imprisonment of Male Prisoners in State Prisons." Defendant argues section 2933.2, like sections 2933, 2933.05, and 2933.1, apply only to those sentenced to state prison and not those who are granted probation. Defendant cites as further support legislative history suggesting that section 2933.2 was enacted for the primary purpose of limiting the credits that may be earned in state prison.

The question presented is one of statutory construction. In matters of statutory construction our fundamental concern is with legislative intent. (Brown v. Kelly Broadcasting Co. (1989) 48 Cal.3d 711, 724.) In order to determine such intent, we begin with the language of the statute itself. (Ibid.) If the language is clear, there is no need to resort to other indicia of intent; there is no need for further construction. (Lungren v. Deukmejian (1988) 45 Cal.3d 727, 735.) However, "every statute should be construed with reference to the whole system of law of which it is a part, so that all may be harmonized and have effect. [Citation.] Legislative intent will ...


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