People v. SantosAnnotate this Case
Defendant appealed from a postjudgment order denying his petition for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95 and Senate Bill No. 1437. Defendant alleged that the judge erred by ruling on the petition although he was not the judge who sentenced defendant in the underlying matter, and by summarily denying defendant's petition.
The Court of Appeal agreed with the parties that the trial court erred in denying defendant's petition based on the constitutional challenges to Senate Bill 1437 and section 1170.95 and on the the merits of his petition. The court explained that the record provides no basis for the trial court's determination as a matter of law that "the overall record" precluded defendant from showing that he was not a major participant in the robbery and did not act with reckless indifference to human life. The court interpreted the statute to require the judge who originally sentenced the petitioner to rule on the petition, unless that judge is unavailable. In this case, the record contains no evidence that the original sentencing judge was unavailable. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.