People v. MarinAnnotate this Case
Defendant was convicted, among other offenses, of felony driving under the influence. After appeal and remand, a jury found that his prior conviction of vehicular manslaughter qualifies as a strike under the Three Strikes law. Consequently, the trial court enhanced defendant's sentence based on the jury's finding. The court concluded, however, that the evidence was insufficient to prove that defendant’s prior vehicular manslaughter conviction is a strike. Therefore, the case must be remanded for further proceedings to determine what evidence, if any, the prosecution will produce to prove that fact. The court also concluded that, under United States v. Descamps, judicial factfinding authorized by People v. McGee, going beyond the elements of the crime to “ascertain whether that record reveals whether the conviction realistically may have been based on conduct that would not constitute a serious felony under California law” violates the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial; that right is not violated when, in determining whether a prior conviction qualifies to increase a defendant’s punishment, the trial court considers the documents approved in Taylor v. United States and Shepard v. United States to determine the statutory elements of the crime of which the defendant was convicted; under the reasoning of Descamps, the Sixth Amendment does not bar judicial factfinding beyond the statutory elements of the prior conviction, if in entering a guilty plea to the prior offense, the defendant waived his right to a jury trial as to such facts and either admitted them or they were found true by the court with defendant’s assent; in the instant case, because the elements of defendant’s prior conviction by plea of vehicular manslaughter do not show that he personally inflicted great bodily injury on a person other than an accomplice, defendant is entitled to a jury trial on those facts, unless he waived his right to a jury trial as to such facts and admitted them or they were found true by the court with his assent; and even if defendant is entitled to a jury trial on this issue, double jeopardy does not bar the retrial.