California v. LuaAnnotate this Case
A jury found defendant-appellant David Lua guilty of one count of transportation for sale of a controlled substance, as well as a misdemeanor count of simple possession of a controlled substance, a lesser included offense of the charged offense, possession for sale of a controlled substance. The trial court found true allegations that defendant had five drug-related prior convictions, and had served three prior prison terms. Defendant received an aggregate sentence of 17 years. Defendant appealed the sentence, arguing the trial court’s instructions to the jury with respect to the transportation for sale charge were erroneous; that the trial court failed to adequately respond to questions from the jury during deliberations; that the verdict form for the transportation for sale charge contradicted the jury’s instructions for the offense; that the cumulative error doctrine requires reversal; that the trial court misunderstood the scope of its sentencing discretion; and that the sentence imposed constitutes an abuse of discretion, and an unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. The Court of Appeal found the matter had to be remanded for resentencing, because some of the trial court’s remarks during sentencing suggest that it may not have properly understood the scope of its sentencing discretion. The judgment was affirmed in all other respects.