Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In Re Smith (Cal. Ct. App. - May 2, 2007)

It's already after noon, and there's only one published case today. This one. Which concerns a relatively esoteric (and somewhat fact-specific) issue regarding whether Ernest Smith has to serve five years of parole when he's already been in prison (at least constructively) for 32.75 years. On a 20-year sentence.

Justice Duffy holds that he doesn't. Essentially because 32.75 > 20 + 5. That's admittedly a simplification. But it captures the essence of the holding. And I'm pretty sure that her math is right.

As I read the opinion, I was impressed by how well and easily it flowed. Wholly apart from the merits, I just thought it was especially well-written. Only at the end was it revealed that it was an opinion by Justice Duffy. Which made sense. She got her A.B. in English Literature at Berkeley, after all.