People v. Smith et al.

31 Cal.4th 1207, 80 P.3d 662, 7 Cal.Rptr.3d 559 (2003)

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People v. Smith et al.

California Supreme Court
31 Cal.4th 1207, 80 P.3d 662, 7 Cal.Rptr.3d 559 (2003)

Facts

The State of California (plaintiff) prosecuted Edaleene Sherry Smith, Waymond Thomas, and Obed Gonzalez (defendants) for theft and cocaine-related offenses. The trial evidence showed that undercover police officer Juan Martinez approached Smith, a suspected drug dealer. Martinez asked Smith if she wanted to rob between 30 and 100 kilograms cocaine from a major dealer. Smith said stealing cocaine was her business and that she and her colleagues were willing to steal any amount available. Martinez later informed Smith that the dealer stored 85 kilograms of cocaine at a designated location, and when the trio arrived at that location and took steps to steal the cocaine, the police arrested them. The jury convicted all three defendants and, because the amount of cocaine in question crossed the 80-kilogram threshold for enhanced sentencing, the judge added 25 years to each defendant's sentence. On appeal, an appellate court affirmed the convictions but reduced the sentence enhancement to 15 years. Smith and the others based their appeal to the California Supreme Court on theories of sentencing entrapment, sentence manipulation, and outrageous government conduct.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

Concurrence (Weredegar, J.)

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