Orange County's Octavio Ruiz Trejo already accumulated two strikes under California's “Three Strikes” law when in 1998 he further padded his rap sheet with charges of terrorist threats and battery upon a police officer.
Superior Court Judge Craig E. Robison used the “Three Strikes” statute to punish Trejo with a term of 25 years to life in prison.
Great news occurred for Trejo in November 2012, when state voters enacted Proposition 36, which blocked judges from employing “Three Strikes” in certain conditions.
Or so the convicted felon hoped.
In prison, he filled out a form claiming that he was entitled to a sentence reduction under Proposition 36.
Late last month, a three-justice panel at the California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana almost laughed Trejo's appeal out of their building.
In an opinion that is barely longer than a single page of text, the justices noted that the legislature specifically did not exempt Trejo's terrorist threat conviction from “Three Strikes” sentencing.
Upshot: Trejo, 47, will continue to serve his prison punishment inside Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe.
(For unknown reasons, a judge sealed Trejo's last case file from public view.)