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Remand for SB 1437 Case

People v. Jones Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: A162634 (First Appellate District), Opinion Date: December 23, 2022. Jones was tried for a 2014 shooting death. The jury was instructed on first-degree felony murder and told that Jones could be guilty under this theory if a coparticipant committed the fatal act. The jury convicted Jones but found not true the allegation that he had personally used a firearm in the commission of the offense. Jones was sentenced to prison for 25 years to life. In 2018, Senate Bill 1437 amended the Penal Code such that murder liability is not imposed on persons convicted of felony murder unless they were the actual killer, an aider and abettor who acted with intent to kill, or a major participant in the underlying felony who acted with reckless indifference to human life. In 2020, Jones sought resentencing under Penal Code 1172.6. The trial court denied Jones’s petition, finding that he was a major participant who acted with reckless indifference to human life. The court of appeal remanded “for the court’s consideration of all relevant factors consistent with prevailing law.” It was not clear whether the court considered Jones’s youth as a relevant factor in deciding whether he was a major participant.

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