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Will the recent US Supreme Court ruling on Peugh, Marvin vs. The United States, help 3 strikers in California?

Rancho Cucamonga, CA |

Will people with strikes prior to the three strike law being enacted in 1994, qualify for relief now if the strikes which were used are now deemed unuseable by the recent ruling in Peugh, Marvin vs. The United States?

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Attorney answers 3


I'm not aware of that case being used for that application. There has been a lot of litigation, even in the Supreme Court about ex post facto and prior convictions, none has been successful at eliminating the use of priors in enhancing future sentences.


Peugh really only affects a very small number of federal guidelines sentences arising out of federal courts in the Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana). The Ninth Circuit, which hears appeals from federal cases arising out of California, already followed the rule adopted by the Supreme Court in Peugh. Indeed, the Seventh Circuit was the only one that followed a different rule. So all that has changed is that the Seventh Circuit has been told to go along with everybody else. Whether California state courts would read something broader into Peugh is anybody's guess. Probably not, but then, Peugh was only decided five days ago, so there hasn't been much time to react, has there?


Not certain whether the Peugh matter helps at all.

However, there may be a basis for an appeal pursuant to the recent passage of Proposition 36, the ballot measure that revised the controversial life sentence aspect of the three- strikes law, now imposing life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.” It also allows offenders previously sentenced under three-strikes and currently serving life sentences to appeal for re-sentencing if their third conviction was not serious or violent. Good luck.
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