Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Life Support Alliance (LSA) returning to Prison to give their impactful Lifer Workshop: Get your Loved ones involved.


Now that CoVid is subsiding and more institutions are allowing Program providers in to bring presentations; Life SupportAlliance (LSA) is getting invitations to bring their impactful workshops to more and more prisons (in-person).


Some of the workshops include: Unraveling a Parole Hearing,

Connecting the Dots, the Amends Project (e.g. how to write apology letters), among others.


LSA travels to the prisons to give their workshops to all Long Term Inmates (i.e. Lifers, Youth Offender, Elderly hearings, DSL, ISL) that are going to a Parole Suitability Hearing, in the future. The workshop will help them get prepared for the Parole Hearing.


LSA staff will go where they have the most interested people.


Specifically LSA will prioritize the institutions who register the most memberships!


If you are a Loved Ones in the free community then sign up to be a Free member of the Life Support Alliance (LSA). You will get the Free Newsletter (Lifer*Line) each month in your email inbox. The other way is to text the word “JOIN” to their automated system at 916-702-7344; which will return a link. Use the link to fill out the membership registration, right from the phone. The membership “count” will indicate which Prisons should get the in-person workshop first.


You can also go to LSA’s website at www.lifesupportalliance.Org. Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the “JOIN” button to get the same form to fill out. Fill out the form with the inmates’ name and the prison location.


LSA can be contacted via their email address  and



PO BOX 277

Rancho Cordova, CA 95711


Thank You to LSA for all of what they do to assist the inmate population get home.

Monday, February 13, 2023

12/27/22 People v. White (2022) 86 Cal.App.5th 1229: A Franklin hearing does not reopen a final judgment or sentencing.

A Franklin hearing does not reopen a final judgment or sentencing; it is an “evidence preservation process” to gather data for future determination of parole, at a parole suitability hearing.

 ATTORNEY LETARTE NOTE:   Franklin Hearing (FH)  [youth offender documentation] can be very helpful if done correctly. Unfortunately these reports vary in usefulness. Some Social Worker (LCWS) can do a very good job at providing the Psychosocial background of the inmate. They will interview the inmate, family and siblings to write their report. On occasion a psychologist may write the report. If this is the case it is best to provide the FH psychologist a copy of the Comprehensive Risk Assessment (CRA), if possible ahead of the interview, to avoid conflicting facts.  Then, if properly documented it can be provided as a supplemental report to the Board's Comprehensive Risk Assessment (CRA) done by the Board's own psychologist. WARNING: Many times inmates do not disclose the "bad" upbringing to the Board's psychologist but then provide a total different picture [bad upbringing] to the FH psychologist or Social Worker. The conflicts in the social history will be a point of concerns by the Board. Be a step ahead and try to prevent any inconsistent statements between the reports.


Another big thank you to CCAP for the summary of this 12/27/2022 case. Republish here for Education purpose.


In 2006, White was convicted of second degree murder and other offenses based on an accident he caused driving while intoxicated. He requested and received a Franklin hearing (People v. Franklin (2016) 63 Cal.4th 261) to place on the record mitigating factors in anticipation of a youthful parole hearing. (See Pen. Code, § 3051.) 

On appeal, he argued the Franklin hearing reopened his case, which would allow application of Assembly Bill No. 518.  Held: Affirmed. 

At the time of White’s sentencing, Penal Code section 654, former subdivision (a) required a trial court to impose the longest possible term when that section applied to two convictions. AB 518, effective January 1, 2022, amended section 654, to allow the trial court to impose sentence on either conviction. Though this amendment applies retroactively to non-final cases, it does not apply to White, because his Franklin hearing was not an extended portion of the original sentencing. Though Franklin hearings follow the procedures in Penal Code section 1204, and California Rules of Court, rule 4.437, which are related to sentencing, they are not the basis for Franklin hearings. Penal Code section 1203.01, under which post judgment Franklin motions are filed, is separate statutory authority for such hearings and not part of the defendant’s sentence. (See In re Cook (2019) 7 Cal.5th 439.) 

A Franklin hearing does not reopen or affect the judgment. AB 518 does not apply retroactively to final convictions. White argued that AB 518 should be applied retroactively to all convictions, whether or not final. Criminal laws generally apply prospectively. An exception to this rule was recognized in In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740, which held that, absent a clear intent to the contrary, new laws that mitigate punishment are presumed to apply to all cases not yet final. Nothing in AB 518 reflects the Legislature intended to alter the Estrada presumption, as it is “silent on the question of retroactivity and provides no mechanism by which youth offenders whose convictions are final can petition for resentencing.” Failure to apply AB 518 to final cases does not deny defendants equal protection of the law. “Because Assembly Bill 518’s differing treatment of defendants whose judgments are not final does not involve a fundamental right, and defendant does not contend the measure discriminates against members of a suspect class, it need only survive rational basis review to be constitutional.” 

Under that standard, equal protection is denied only where there is no rational relationship between the disparity of treatment and some legitimate governmental purpose. That purpose exists where the Legislature or the voters decline to make new laws that reduce criminal sentences fully retroactive in order to assure that penal laws continue to have their intended deterrent effect. 

 Full Opinion Here :

Monday, January 2, 2023

12/6/2022 People v. E.M. Court’s jurisdiction to resentence under PC1172.1 was not eliminated by CDCR’s letter rescinding its request to recall the inmate’s sentence

Case Name: People v. E.M. (2022) 85 Cal.App.5th 1075 , District: 6 DCA , Case #: H049467 Opinion

A big thank you to CCAP for the summary of this 12/6/2022 case. Republish here for Education purpose.

Case Holding: 

Trial court’s jurisdiction to resentence an inmate under Penal Code section 1172.1 was not eliminated by CDCR’s letter rescinding its request to recall the inmate’s sentence, which was sent while the inmate’s appeal was pending. In 2019, CDCR recommended resentencing E.M. under what is now section 1172.1 based on Senate Bill No. 1393, which restored the trial court’s discretion to strike enhancements for prior serious felonies imposed under Penal Code section 667. After appointing counsel, the trial court declined to recall the sentence on the basis that E.M.’s judgment was final before the legislation was enacted (he was convicted in 1984). He appealed. 

The Attorney General initially agreed that E.M. case should be remanded for resentencing. However, after briefing, CDCR issued a new letter to the trial court stating it was rescinding its recommendation of recall and resentencing. The Attorney General withdrew its previous concession and argued the appeal was now moot. Held: Reversed and remanded. 

After a defendant has been committed to prison, the trial court may recall the defendant’s sentence and resentence him at any time based on the recommendation of the secretary of CDCR. After analyzing section 1172.1 and the legislative history, the Court of Appeal concluded CDCR’s rescission letter did not eliminate the trial court’s jurisdiction to recall and resentence E.M. and did not moot the appeal. The language of the statute implies the trial court’s power to recall continues indefinitely once it receives a recommendation from CDCR and there is no language that gives CDCR the power to rescind its recommendation. The trial court acted when it issued the order denying recall, and in doing so, the court exercised jurisdiction over the matter long before CDCR issued its rescission letter. Allowing CDCR to moot the appeal under the circumstances of this case would present separation of power concerns and it is it is unlikely the Legislature intended for CDCR to intrude this far into the courts’ jurisdiction over sentencing matters. 

[CCAP Editor’s Note: The Court of Appeal did not decide whether CDCR has the power to rescind a recommendation soon after issuing it and where the trial court has not yet acted on it; where a subsequent change in the prisoner’s circumstances may support rescission; or where the initial recommendation was erroneously issued due to administrative improvidence.] 

 The trial court erred in denying recall on the ground that a new law did not apply retroactively in a case that was final and remand is required for the trial court to consider recall and resentencing under section 1721.1. E.M. argued the trial court misconstrued the law when it denied recall and erred in several other ways based on the procedural requirements of newly enacted section 1172.1. The Court of Appeal agreed the trial court erred. Effective January 1, 2022, Assembly Bill No. 1540 renumbered the recall and resentencing provisions of former Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (d)(1) and amended the language governing the procedural requirements, which are now set forth in section 1172.1. Section 1172.1 provides in part, “The court, in recalling and resentencing under this subdivision, shall apply the sentencing rules of the Judicial Council and apply any changes in law that reduce sentences or provide for judicial discretion so as to eliminate disparity of sentences and to promote uniformity of sentencing.” (Pen. Code, § 1172.1, subd. (a)(2).) Section 1172.1, subdivision (a)(4) sets forth a list of factors—some permissive and some mandatory—for the court to consider in recalling and resentencing. The statute includes a presumption in favor of recall and resentencing, which may only be overcome if the court finds the defendant is an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety as defined in Penal Code section 1170.18, subdivision (c). (Pen. Code, § 1172.1, subd. (b)(2).) Even before the enactment of AB 1540, Courts of Appeal held that former section 1170, subdivision (d) allowed for recall and resentencing based on recent changes in law that would be ameliorative with respect to cases that were final on appeal. The court reviewed recent decisions addressing the two statutes and concluded the trial court erred by denying recall on the erroneous premise that SB 1393 did not apply to E.M.’s case. On remand, section 1721.1 will apply. 

 [CCAP Editor’s Note: The court declined to decide whether section 1172.1 controlled in this appeal or whether former section 1170, subdivision (d) applied. (Compare People v. McMurray (2022) 76 Cal.App.5th 1035, with People v. Pillsbury (2021) 69 Cal.App.5th 776, 782 and People v. Cepeda (2021) 70 Cal.App.5th 456.) 


 The full opinion is available on the court’s website: