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California Supreme Court Noteworthy Grants of Review

10/28/2021—The court granted review — on a pro per’s petition — in People v. Reyes, S270723, yet another case involving the Legislature’s actions in Senate Bill No. 1437 to limit criminal liability for felony murder or murder under the natural-and-probable-consequences doctrine. The Fourth District, Division Three, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed the denial of a resentencing petition by a defendant who, despite not having shot the victim, was convicted of second degree murder. The appellate court found there was substantial evidence to support the superior court’s conclusion that the prosecution proved a valid theory of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, regarding limiting murder liability under SB 1437, the court granted review in People v. King, S270970, and transferred the case back to the Second District, Division Five, which had held in an unpublished opinion that the legislation does not allow for resentencing of a defendant convicted of manslaughter. The Supreme Court directed reconsideration in light of Senate Bill No. 775 (Stats. 2021, ch. 551) and People v. Lewis (2021) 11 Cal.5th 952. The new legislation expands the category of defendants who are covered by statutory resentencing provisions.

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