People v. VargasAnnotate this Case
The assumption under the Three Strikes law is that a defendant has had two prior opportunities to reform before being found incorrigible and receiving a life sentence. At issue in this case was whether an offender’s two previous qualifying felony convictions that are closely connected in their commission can nevertheless constitute two separate strikes under the Three Strikes law. Here, Defendant’s two prior felony convictions were tried in the same proceeding, committed during the same course of criminal conduct, based on the same act, and committed as the same time and against the same victim. The trial court concluded that Defendant fell “squarely within the spirit of [Three] Strikes” and denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss one of the prior convictions. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment, holding that the trial court was required to dismiss one of the prior convictions because failure to do so would be inconsistent with the spirit of the Three Strikes law. Remanded.