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California Court Finds Judge has Discretion to Strike Accelerant Enhancement
CALIFORNIA COURT FINDS JUDGE HAS DISCRETION TO STRIKE ACCELERANT ENHANCEMENT
In People v. Wilson, B151042 (Jan. 15, 2002), the Second Appellate District reviewed the defendant's arson conviction. He had received a five-year sentence for burning the uninhabited home he and his wife owned. He entered a no contest plea. He was sentenced to five years plus a three-year enhancement for use of an accelerant.
The court stated it had no discretion to strike the enhancement. The Court of Appeals found the trial judge could strike the three-year enhancement if it desired because the California Penal Code section 451.1 did not contain express language divesting the trial court of authority to strike the enhancement. The matter was remanded for further proceedings.
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