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Cal. Supreme Court Reverses Denial of Appeal

People v. Esquivel Docket: S262551, Opinion Date: June 17, 2021. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeal concluding that Defendant's case was final because Defendant could have appealed his sentence when it was imposed, holding that when a defendant is placed on probation with execution of an imposed state prison sentence suspended the case is not yet final if the defendant may still timely obtain direct review of an order revoking probation and causing the state prison sentence to take effect. Defendant pleaded no contest to a felony. In 2015, the trial court suspended him. In 2018, the court found Defendant in violation of a condition of probation and ordered the sentence to take effect. During the pendency of Defendant's appeal, the Legislature amended the provision under which the trial court had imposed two one-year enhancements. The parties agreed that the amendment applies to all

cases that were not final when the legislation took effect but disagreed as to whether Defendant's case was final. The court of appeals held that it was. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that legislation ameliorating punishment presumptively applies to suspended execution cases pending on appeal from an order causing a previously imposed sentence to take effect.

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