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The People v. Robert Celestino Ayala-Lopez

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT (Sacramento)


November 26, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ROBERT CELESTINO AYALA-LOPEZ, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.

(Super. Ct. No. 11F02776)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Raye , P. J.

P. v. Ayala-Lopez

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Robert Celestino Ayala-Lopez pleaded no contest to possession of heroin for sale. (Health & Saf. Code, § 11351.) The trial court sentenced defendant to a stipulated term of three years in state prison.

On appeal, defendant contends that the prospective application of the Criminal Justice Realignment Act of 2011 (Realignment Act) (Stats. 2011, ch. 15) violates his right to equal protection of the law. We affirm.

DISCUSSION

Defendant was sentenced to state prison on August 12, 2011. Under the Realignment Act, felons are confined to county jail instead of state prison unless they have a current or prior serious or violent felony conviction, or are required to register as a sex offender, or are subject to the aggravated white collar crime enhancement. (Pen. Code, § 1170, subd. (h)(1)-(3).)

The Realignment Act would apply to defendant but for the date of his sentencing. "The sentencing changes made by the act that added this subdivision shall be applied prospectively to any person sentenced on or after October 1, 2011." (Pen. Code, § 1170, subd. (h)(6).) Defendant contends this violates his right to equal protection of the law.

A defendant's right to equal protection of the law does not prevent the Legislature from determining that a change in the law reducing the punishment for a crime shall be applied on or after a specified date. (People v. Floyd (2003) 31 Cal.4th 179, 188; In re Kapperman (1974) 11 Cal.3d 542, 546.) A criminal defendant does not have a fundamental liberty interest in the retroactive application of a statute reducing the punishment for a crime. (Baker v. Superior Court (1984) 35 Cal.3d 663, 668-669.)

We rejected an identical contention in our opinion in People v. Lynch (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 353, 362. We reject defendant's contention for the reasons stated herein and in our opinion in Lynch.

DISPOSITION

The judgment is affirmed.

We concur: MURRAY , J. DUARTE , J.

20121126

© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.



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