California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division
Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County, No. F209990001, No.
F000210166, Michael L. Duffy, Judge.
Dow, District Attorney, and Gregory J. Devitt, Deputy
District Attorney, for Plaintiff and Appellant.
Feeser, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for
Defendant and Respondent Raul Alberto Lopez.
Austin, Jennifer N. Gaspar, Douglas A. Axel, Christopher S.
Munsey, Matt Light and Jaime A. Bartlett for Defendant and
Respondent Freddie Chacon.
P. J., and Perren, J., concurring.
Cal.Rptr.3d 696] YEGAN, J.
criminal defendant should not be punished for exercising a
constitutional right as declared by the United States Supreme
Court. Here, defendants exercised their declared rights by
obtaining habeas corpus relief. They should not be precluded
from obtaining further relief pursuant to a subsequently
enacted remedial statute which addresses vindication of the
same constitutional right. Were we to do so, we would elevate
form over substance. (Civ. Code, § 3528.)
People appeal from postjudgment orders granting probation to
respondents Raul Alberto Lopez and Freddie Chacon after the
trial court recalled their sentences pursuant to newly
amended Penal Code section 1170, subdivision
(d). In 1994, respondents were sentenced to
life without possibility of parole (LWOP) plus nine years in
state prison for crimes they committed as juveniles. They
served almost a quarter of a century in prison. The People
contend that the trial court was without jurisdiction to
recall the sentences after the LWOP sentences were modified
to simple life sentences in 2012 pursuant to Graham v.
Florida (2010) 560 U.S. 48, 82 [176 L.Ed.2d 825, 130
S.Ct. 2011]. The People seek refuge under the plain meaning
rule. We understand the People's point but we cannot, in
good conscience, subscribe to the " 'dictionary
school of jurisprudence.'" ( People v.
Clayburg (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 86, 91 [149 Cal.Rptr.3d
414].) Application of the plain meaning rule would be unfair
and penalize respondents because they exercised their
constitutional rights as declared by the United States
Supreme Court. We affirm.
1993, respondents, who were 16 years old, were confined in a
California Youth Authority facility (CYA). They kidnapped a
CYA librarian, Ava Goldman, in an attempt to escape from the
facility in Paso Robles. Respondents took Goldman hostage and
assaulted her. Roy Victorino, a CYA instructor, tried to
rescue Goldman and was stabbed in ...