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December 28, 2006

A notable example of three-strikes laws being subject to negotiation

The blogosphere is justifiably buzzing about People v. Zachary, No. C051431 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 27, 2006) (available here), a case in which a California trial court, at a change of plea proceeding, stated, "Oh that's right.  You can't offend the kangaroos up there in kangaroo court."  Many bloggers (here and here and here and here and here) have already made numerous interesting observations about how the kangaroos appellate judges reacted in the Zachary opinion. 

What I found the most interesting about Zachary was the legal context that led to the marsupial melee.   The defendant in Zachary was apparently subject to California's three-strikes law and a 25-to-life imprisonment sentence, but he engineered a plea deal to get only a six-year sentence.  The kangaroo comments emerged because the defendant and the trial court were apparently concerned that an appellate court might question whether such a plea deal was appropriate.

December 28, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink


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