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Self-Assessment Test by Hon. Alex Ricciardulli

MCLE Self-Assessment Test

Take this test after reading “Mastering the New Conduct Credits Law” by Mark T. Willman

1. The California Penal Code awards prisoners credits to reduce their time in confinement in either jail or prison for both "good time" and "work time."

True False

2. Effective Jan. 25, 2010, the "good time"/"work time" credits provisions in Penal Code Section 4019 were amended by SB X3 18 to increase the time that most defendants must spend in confinement.

True False

3. Controversy over the application of the new statute's changes to county jail sentences prompted the introduction of two bills that are now pending in the Legislature to limit application of the formula increasing credits earned to only inmates committed to state prison.

True False

4. The new statute in SB X3 18 increases the amount of "good time"/"work time" credits that can be accrued only for defendants who are required to register as a sex offenders, who commit a serious felony, or who have a prior conviction for a serious felony or a violent felony.

True False

5. SB X3 18 added a formula that generally reduces most prisoners' custody time by one-half, if all conduct credits are earned.

True False

6. Under the "one-third" formula in Penal Code Section 4019(b)(2) and (c)(2), credits are given for each increment of four days served, with no credit earned for any lesser increment.

True False

7. Under the new statute enacted by SB X3 18, just as under the "one-third" formula in Penal Code Section 4019(b)(2) and (c)(2), at least four days must be served before the defendant receives credits under SB X3 18's "one-half" formula.

True False

8. SB X3 18's new "one-half" formula applies even to a defendant convicted of a violent felony listed in Penal Code Section 667.5(c).

True False

9. As of the writing of this article and test, four courts have split on whether the amendments to Penal Code Section 4019 apply retroactively to the calculation of presentence custody credits when the defendant was sentenced before Jan. 25, 2010 but the conviction did not become final until after that date.

True False

10. People v. Rodriguez held that the amendments applied and a defendant was entitled to calculation of credits under the new "one-half" formula, but People v. Brown, People v. House, and People v. Landon 2010 DJDAR 5459 reached a contrary conclusion.

True False

11. In Rodriguez, Brown, House, and Landon the defendants argued that In re Estrada required that the new statute should apply retroactively to reduce the sentences of defendants convicted before Jan. 25, 2010.

True False

12. Defendants arguing that the new statute should apply retroactively had to contend with a provision in the California Penal Code that states that no part of the Penal Code is retroactive "unless expressly so declared."

True False

13. In re Estrada characterized Penal Code Section 3 as an ironclad rule of statutory construction that can never be overcome.

True False

14. Under Estrada, an amendatory act imposing lighter punishment can be applied constitutionally to acts committed before its passage, provided the judgment convicting the defendant of the act is not final.

True False

15. Brown, House, and Landon found Estrada to be controlling, and applied SB X3 18's new "one-half" formula retroactively.

True False

16. In reaching a contrary conclusion than Brown, House, and Landon, Rodriguez distinguished Estrada and found that it was not controlling regarding whether SB X3 18's new "one-half" formula should apply retroactively.

True False

17. Although finding that SB X3 18's new "one-half" formula did not apply retroactively, Rodriguez stated that it was not deciding whether a prospective-only application of the new law was an equal protection violation.

True False

18. In excluding defendants who are required to register as a sex offender or who have been convicted of specified prior felonies, Penal Code Section 4019 explicitly provides a plead-and-prove requirement.

True False

19. The California Supreme Court noted in In re Varnell that "when a pleading and proof requirement is intended, the Legislature knows how to specify the requirement."

True False

20. A specific and explicit plead-and-prove requirement is provided for defendants with prior convictions under the Three Strikes law.

True False

HOW TO RECEIVE ONE HOUR OF MCLE CREDIT

Answer the test questions above, choosing the best answer. Mail the information below and a $28 check made payable to Daily Journal to:

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P.O. Box 54026
Los Angeles, CA 90054-0026

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