Thursday, June 25, 2020

People v. Stamps (Cal. Ct. App. - June 25, 2020)

This California Supreme Court decision resolves a complicated question about whether a particular sentencing statute is retroactive and, if it is, how that retroactive effect is to be effectively accomplished.  It's an issue that has split the Courts of Appeal and, today, the California Supreme Court resolves the matter.  Unanimously.  And, to me, correctly.

I know that justices on the Court of Appeal (generally) have thick skins, and sufficient ego without regard to whether the California Supreme Court agrees or disagrees with their analysis.  Still, Justice Meehan is probably a little bit happy that the California Supreme Court's opinion extensively quotes from her Ellis opinion (which was on one side of the split) and calls that decision and its analysis spot on, ultimately adopting precisely the remedy she advanced.  By contrast, Justice Dhanidina sees his opinion (Wilson, on the other side of the split) eviscerated and, ultimately, expressly disapproved.  Unanimously.

That's the way of the world, of course.  Winners and losers.  Can't be one without the other.

But still typically better to be the winner.