People v. TorresAnnotate this Case
After defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder (counts 11 and 12) under a felony murder theory of liability, the jury found true the special circumstance that the murders were committed during the commission of a robbery and found true multiple murder special circumstance allegations.
The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's denial of defendant's petition for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95 and newly enacted Senate Bill No. 1437. The court disagreed with defendant's broad assertion that a trial court may not summarily deny a petition on the basis of the record of conviction prior to appointment of counsel and briefing, but nevertheless reversed the trial court's order. In this case, the trial court relied exclusively on the jury's 2001 special circumstances findings, which findings alone are not sufficient to preclude relief in the wake of People v. Banks (2015) 61 Cal.4th 788, and People v. Clark (2016) 63 Cal.4th 522. The court remanded to allow the trial court to determine whether defendant has made a prima facie showing that he falls within the provisions of section 1170.95.