In re Vinson, B313583

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtFEUER, J.
PartiesIn re TOM LOVE VINSON on Habeas Corpus.
Decision Date10 February 2022
Docket NumberB313583

In re TOM LOVE VINSON on Habeas Corpus.


California Court of Appeals, Second District, Seventh Division

February 10, 2022


ORIGINAL PROCEEDING on petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. NA083837 Judith L. Meyer, Judge. Petition granted.

Fay Arfa, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Petitioner.

Rob Bonta, Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Susan Sullivan Pithey, Assistant Attorney General, David E. Madeo and David A. Voet, Deputy Attorneys General, for Respondent.



A jury convicted Tom Love Vinson of first degree murder, attempted voluntary manslaughter, and two counts of attempted willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder. The trial court sentenced Vinson to 130 years to life plus a determinate term of 25 years six months.

In Vinson's first appeal, we affirmed Vinson's convictions but remanded to the trial court for resentencing, directing the court to consider the mitigating sentencing factors applicable to juveniles enunciated in Miller v. Alabama (2012) 567 U.S. 460. (People v. Vinson (March 13, 2013, B238043) [nonpub. opn.] (Vinson I).) The California Supreme Court denied review.

On remand, the trial court imposed the same sentence, and Vinson again appealed. On November 8, 2016, while Vinson's second appeal was pending, the voters passed Proposition 57, The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 (Cal. Const., art. I, § 32), which reformed the process by which criminal cases may be filed against juveniles in criminal courts. In supplemental briefing, Vinson, who was 16 years old at the time of the offenses, argued Proposition 57 applied retroactively to his case. We rejected Vinson's argument without resolving the retroactivity of Proposition 57 generally, concluding Vinson's judgment of conviction was final prior to enactment of Proposition 57 because the time to petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court had passed with respect to Vinson's judgment of conviction, even though we had remanded for resentencing and Proposition 57 had modified "state criminal procedures" with respect to filing in juvenile court. (People v. Vinson (Feb. 8, 2017,


B257225) [nonpub. opn.] (Vinson II).)[1] The California Supreme Court again denied review.

On February 1, 2018 the Supreme Court in People v. Superior Court (Lara) (2018) 4 Cal.5th 299, 303-304 (Lara) applied the "inference of retroactivity" under In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740 (Estrada) to Proposition 57, holding the law applies to all juveniles charged directly in adult court whose judgments were not final at the time Proposition 57 was enacted.

On July 14, 2021 Vinson filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in this court seeking relief under Lara. Although we summarily denied the petition, the Supreme Court granted Vinson's petition for review, directing this court to vacate our prior order denying the petition for writ of habeas corpus and to "reconsider the cause in light of [Lara]." (In re Vinson (Sept. 15, 2021, S270010).) On September 22, 2021 we issued an order to show cause why relief should not be granted. The People filed a return, and Vinson filed a traverse.

Vinson contends, the People concede, and we agree Vinson is entitled to a retroactive transfer hearing in the juvenile court under Proposition 57. We now grant the petition.



A. The Evidence at Trial[2]

On the evening of October 30, 2009, at a homecoming football game at Wilson High School in Long Beach, Vinson, a member of the Baby Insane clique of the Insane Crips gang, encountered members of a rival gang, the Rolling Twenties Crips, including Marcus Moore and Brad Van. Students Melody Ross and Tori R. were sitting on the curb nearby. As Vinson and fellow gang member Nicholas Campbell approached their rivals, both said "Babies." Moore and someone else responded, "Twenties." Vinson then fired a handgun four times in Moore's direction, killing Ross and wounding Moore and Van.

Vinson was 16 years old at the time of the shooting. He testified he had been a member of the Rolling Twenties Crips street gang before switching to the Baby Insane Crips. A person can be killed for switching gangs. Vinson carried a gun because he was always in fear for his life and he had been shot at 20 times and beaten up for switching gangs. Vinson testified he shot his gun only after seeing Van point a gun in his direction. Vinson did not aim at Ross or intend to kill her. Moore admitted he had made threatening gang gestures at Vinson in the past and brought a concealed and loaded handgun to the game.

B. The Verdict and Sentencing

The jury convicted Vinson of the first degree murder of Ross (Pen. Code, § 187, subd. (a); count 1), the attempted willful, deliberate, and premeditated murders of Moore and Van (§§ 187,


subd. (a), 664; counts 2 and 3), and the attempted voluntary manslaughter of Tori R. (§ 192, subd. (a), 664; count 4). The jury also found true the allegations Vinson personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing great bodily injury as to counts 1, 2, and 3 (§ 12022.53, subds. (b), (c), & (d)), Vinson personally used a firearm in the commission of count 4 (§ 12022.5, subd. (a)), and each crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang (§ 186.22, subd. (b)(1)).

The trial court sentenced Vinson to 130 years to life plus a determinate term of 25 years six months.


A. Proposition 57

"Proposition 57, passed in the November 2016 general election . . ., requires prosecutors to commence all cases involving a...

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