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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 116750
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Looking to read case law on what violation occurs when two

Customer Question

Looking to read case law on what violation occurs when two laws conflict. Specifically, California currently allows juvenile parole hearings under SB 261 for those who committed their crime prior to age 23. However, existing law still remains that if you were sentenced to LWOP certain steps can be taken if you were a juvenile under 18. The juveniles are the same its just conflicted.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
First of all, the court tries to read the laws in a way that they make sense together. However, if there is a true conflict, the courts look to the intent of the statutes.
While you say that SB 261 conflicts with the process regarding LWOP, but if you read SB 261 it says specifically, "This section shall not apply to cases in which sentencing occurs pursuant to Section 1170.12, subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, of Section 667, or Section 667.61, or in which an individual was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole." So there is no conflict with the other statute because this one says it does not apply to people with LWOP.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand that. I am not referring to the process. Let us take 260 (before 261) if I was under 18 and got LWOP I do not qualify for 260. In order to qualify Id have to get the LWOP dropped. Which may occur under SB9. At that moment it was juveniles under 18. Under 18 were the individuals not as culpable based on Graham, Miller, carbello (sp?), etc. Right? Then the state through sb 261 comes along and says actually we see that even past 18 you are not as culpable. 261 changes under 18 to under 23. If you acknowledge that the lack of culpability (based on research and cases) passes the age of 18 it does so regardless of crime and sentence. So my question then is just assuming that were true, assuming one might have a valid argument under what legal protection would they challenge this?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
261 replaces the other acts though. Each new act that modified this changes the prior acts. Also the act is not changing the age of culpability, they are treating those 23 and under as youthful offenders who are entitled to a break, so I do not see the conflict or your argument here.