People v. Monge, No. S055881

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtCHIN; GEORGE, C.J., and BAXTER; BROWN; WERDEGAR
Citation66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853,16 Cal.4th 826,941 P.2d 1121
Parties, 941 P.2d 1121, 97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6903, 97 Daily Journal D.A.R. 11,199 The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Angel Jaime MONGE, Defendant and Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. S055881
Decision Date27 August 1997

Page 853

66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853
16 Cal.4th 826, 941 P.2d 1121, 97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6903,
97 Daily Journal D.A.R. 11,199
The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Angel Jaime MONGE, Defendant and Appellant.
No. S055881.
Supreme Court of California.
Aug. 27, 1997.

Certiorari Granted in Part Jan. 16, 1998.

See 118 S.Ct. 751.

Page 854

[16 Cal.4th 829] [941 P.2d 1123] David H. Pierce and Clifford Gardner, under appointments by the Supreme Court, San Francisco, for Defendant and Appellant.

Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Carol Wendelin Pollack, Assistant Attorney General, Susan D. Martynec, Pamela C. Hamanaka, Jaime L. Fuster and Carl N. Henry, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

CHIN, Justice.

In this case, we consider the applicability of the state and federal prohibitions against double jeopardy to a proceeding to determine the truth of a prior conviction allegation. We conclude that, in this noncapital case, the state and federal prohibitions against double jeopardy do not apply. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal to the extent that judgment bars retrial of the prior conviction allegation on double jeopardy grounds.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

During the afternoon of January 25, 1995, as Pomona Police Department undercover officers were driving an unmarked car on West Ninth Street in the City of Pomona, they spotted a 13-year-old boy standing near the curb. The boy motioned the officers to pull over, but instead they pulled into an alley that led to the rear of an apartment complex where police had earlier observed narcotics activity. Once in the carport area at the rear of the complex, the officers spotted defendant Angel Jaime Monge. Defendant approached the car, and one of the officers rolled down the window and asked where he could buy marijuana. Defendant did not answer, but walked to a carport. The officers turned their car around and then noticed the young boy who had earlier motioned them to pull over, now standing some distance [16 Cal.4th 830] behind their car. Defendant returned and gave the boy several plastic bags. The boy then approached the officers and asked how much they wanted. The officers

Page 855

requested two "dime bags" and exchanged two $10 bills for two plastic bags of marijuana. After leaving the alley, the officers reported the sale to other Pomona officers, who arrested defendant and the boy. Police searched defendant and found the two $10 bills that the officers had given to the boy.

The District Attorney of Los Angeles County charged defendant with using a minor to sell marijuana (Health & Saf.Code, § 11361, subd. (a)), sale or transportation of marijuana (Health & Saf.Code, § 11360, subd. (a)), and possession of marijuana for sale (Health & Saf.Code, § 11359). The district attorney also alleged defendant had suffered a prior serious felony conviction within the meaning of the "Three Strikes" law (Pen.Code, §§ 667, subds. (b)-(i), 1170.12, subds. [941 P.2d 1124] (a)-(d)), 1 and a prior prison term within the meaning of section 667.5, subdivision (b). Specifically, the district attorney alleged a July 2, 1992, conviction and prison term for assault with a deadly weapon (§ 245, subd. (a)(1)). Defendant pleaded not guilty and denied all sentencing allegations.

Defendant waived his right to a jury trial of the prior conviction and prior prison term allegations, and the court granted his request to bifurcate determination of those allegations. A jury found defendant guilty of the substantive charges. When proceedings reconvened the following week, the court asked defense counsel if defendant wanted to admit the prior conviction, and defense counsel said, "That's correct, Your Honor." The court then asked defendant if he understood, and defendant said, "Yes." After an off-the-record discussion, the court again asked if defendant wanted to admit the prior conviction, and defense counsel said, "No, he doesn't. He wishes the court to try the prior without the jury."

The prosecutor asserted that the prior assault conviction was a serious felony for purposes of the Three Strikes law. Defense counsel disagreed, arguing the weapon involved in the prior crime was not a deadly weapon. The court interrupted to point out that defendant had pleaded guilty to assault with "a deadly weapon" and thus had admitted the weapon was deadly. The court stated it would take judicial notice of the prior conviction and asked if the parties submitted the matter on that evidence alone. The prosecution then offered as additional evidence a "prison packet" (see § 969b) dated February 17, 1995, and an abstract of judgment. This additional evidence characterized defendant's prior conviction as "PC 245(a)(1) ADW GBI" and "ASLT W/DW (245(a)(1)PC)." Defense counsel submitted [16 Cal.4th 831] the matter after questioning whether the prosecution's documentary evidence, which included a photograph and fingerprints, related to defendant.

The court found true that defendant suffered a prior serious felony conviction, "[t]he felony being personal use of a deadly weapon in violation [of] section 245, 245(a)(1)." The court also found true the prior prison term allegation. The court imposed an eleven-year sentence, including five years for using a minor to sell marijuana, which the court doubled to ten years under the Three Strikes law (§§ 667, subd. (e)(1), 1170.12, subd. (c)(1)), plus a one-year enhancement for the prior prison term (§ 667.5, subd. (b)) and two years to run concurrently for possessing marijuana for sale. Under section 654, the court stayed the sentence for defendant's conviction of selling marijuana.

On appeal, defendant challenged the Three Strikes law as a violation of his right to due process. On its own motion, the Court of Appeal requested supplemental briefing on whether sufficient evidence supported the trial court's finding that defendant had suffered a prior serious felony conviction within the meaning of the Three Strikes law. Under the Three Strikes law, a prior felony conviction may affect the sentence for the present offense if the conviction was of a "serious felony" as defined in section 1192.7, subdivision (c). (§§ 667, subd. (d)(1), 1170.12, subd. (b)(1).) Of the felonies and categories of felonies listed in section 1192.7, subdivision (c), defendant's July 2, 1992, felony conviction might have qualified as a "serious felony" under either subdivision (c)(8), which refers to "any ... felony in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice ...," (added

Page 856

italics) or subdivision (c)(23), which refers to "any felony in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon." (Italics added.)

The Court of Appeal affirmed defendant's conviction, but reversed the trial court's true finding on the prior serious felony allegation, holding the evidence insufficient to establish that defendant had acted personally. In addition, the Court of Appeal held that the state and federal constitutional protections against double jeopardy barred retrial of the prior serious felony allegation. Thus, the Court of Appeal remanded for resentencing.

We granted review in order to consider whether the state and federal prohibitions against double jeopardy apply to a proceeding, [941 P.2d 1125] in a noncapital case, to determine the truth of a prior serious felony allegation.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY

Federal Constitution

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that "[n]o person shall ... be subject for the same offence to be twice put in [16 Cal.4th 832] jeopardy of life or limb...." Among other things, this constitutional guaranty, known as the double jeopardy clause, "protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal." (North Carolina v. Pearce (1969) 395 U.S. 711, 717, 89 S.Ct. 2072, 2076, 23 L.Ed.2d 656 (Pearce ), fn. omitted.) In Benton v. Maryland (1969) 395 U.S. 784, 796, 89 S.Ct. 2056, 2063-2064, 23 L.Ed.2d 707, the Supreme Court held that the double jeopardy prohibition was " 'fundamental to the American scheme of justice' " and therefore enforceable against the states as an element of the due process protection embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has never held that the double jeopardy clause applies generally to proceedings, like the one in this case, to determine whether a defendant should receive a longer sentence because of prior convictions. We have on a few occasions noted and expressly declined to decide this question. (People v. Valladoli (1996) 13 Cal.4th 590, 608, 54 Cal.Rptr.2d 695, 918 P.2d 999; People v. Wiley (1995) 9 Cal.4th 580, 593, fn. 8, 38 Cal.Rptr.2d 347, 889 P.2d 541; People v. Saunders (1993) 5 Cal.4th 580, 593, 20 Cal.Rptr.2d 638, 853 P.2d 1093.)

At the outset we emphasize that, in the absence of a statutory provision, a criminal defendant is not entitled as a federal constitutional matter to a trial, formal or informal, of sentencing issues, even when the sentence turns on factual determinations such as the existence of prior convictions. In Williams v. New York (1949) 337 U.S. 241, 69 S.Ct. 1079, 93 L.Ed. 1337 (Williams ), a jury convicted the defendant of first degree murder and recommended life imprisonment. (Id. at pp. 242-243, 69 S.Ct. at pp. 1080-1081.) The judge, however, sentenced the defendant to death after considering the evidence "in the light of additional information obtained through the court's 'Probation Department, and through other sources.' " (Id. at p. 242, 69 S.Ct. at p. 1081.) Among other things, the judge noted that the defendant had been involved in " 'thirty ... burglaries in and about the same vicinity.' " (Id. at p. 244, 69 S.Ct. at p. 1081.) No court had ever convicted the defendant of these 30 burglaries, but "the judge had information that [the defendant] had confessed to some and...

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  • People v. Jones, No. B122692.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 5, 1999
    ...858 P.2d 301.) Since retrial on the prior conviction allegation is not precluded by double jeopardy principles (People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121, affirmed sub. nom. Monge v. California (1998) 524 U.S. 721, 118 S.Ct. 2246, 141 L.Ed.2d 615), remand for ......
  • People v. Barrett, No. S180612.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 30, 2012
    ...state are not dependent on the United States Constitution as the primary source of their protection. (See, e.g., People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 847, 871, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121 (dis. opn. of Werdegar, J.) [“good reasons exist to rely on our state Constitution even before ......
  • People v. Tindall, No. S080078.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 28, 2000
    ...have to forgo the "various procedural guaranties" that accompany the right to a jury trial under section 1025 (People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 833-834, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121 (plur. opn. of Chin, J.) (Monge), affd. sub nom. Monge v. California, supra, 524 U.S. 721, 118 S.C......
  • People v. Seel, No. S106273.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 29, 2004
    ...12 Cal.4th at p. 671, 49 Cal.Rptr.2d 732, 909 P.2d 1354.) Also, the high court, in affirming our decision in People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121 (lead opn. of Chin, J.) (Monge I), held that the double jeopardy clause does not bar retrial of a prior convi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
240 cases
  • People v. Jones, No. B122692.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 5, 1999
    ...858 P.2d 301.) Since retrial on the prior conviction allegation is not precluded by double jeopardy principles (People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121, affirmed sub. nom. Monge v. California (1998) 524 U.S. 721, 118 S.Ct. 2246, 141 L.Ed.2d 615), remand for ......
  • People v. Barrett, No. S180612.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 30, 2012
    ...state are not dependent on the United States Constitution as the primary source of their protection. (See, e.g., People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 847, 871, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121 (dis. opn. of Werdegar, J.) [“good reasons exist to rely on our state Constitution even before ......
  • People v. Tindall, No. S080078.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 28, 2000
    ...have to forgo the "various procedural guaranties" that accompany the right to a jury trial under section 1025 (People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 833-834, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121 (plur. opn. of Chin, J.) (Monge), affd. sub nom. Monge v. California, supra, 524 U.S. 721, 118 S.C......
  • People v. Seel, No. S106273.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 29, 2004
    ...12 Cal.4th at p. 671, 49 Cal.Rptr.2d 732, 909 P.2d 1354.) Also, the high court, in affirming our decision in People v. Monge (1997) 16 Cal.4th 826, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 853, 941 P.2d 1121 (lead opn. of Chin, J.) (Monge I), held that the double jeopardy clause does not bar retrial of a prior convi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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