Defendants Whose Cases Are Pending on Appeal May Seek to Stay Their Appeals in Order to Pursue Relief Under SB 1437
January 4th, 2021

People v. Gentile (Dec. 17, 2020, S256698) concluded that SB 1437 bars a conviction for second degree murder under the natural and probable consequences theory. It also held that the procedure set forth in section PC 1170.95 is the exclusive mechanism for retroactive relief and thus the ameliorative provisions of SB 1437 do not apply to nonfinal judgments on direct appeal. See this post SB 1437, Which Amended The Natural And Probable Consequences Doctrine As It Relates To Murder, Bars A Conviction For Second Degree Murder Under That Theory

However, the Court further held that “nothing prevents defendants from seeking to stay their direct appeals in order to pursue relief under Senate Bill 1437.” While a notice of appeal vests jurisdiction in the appellate court until determination of the case and issuance of the remittitur, a defendant whose case is pending on appeal may file a motion requesting a stay of the appeal and a limited remand for the purpose of pursuing section 1170.95 relief. An appellate court may grant such a stay and limited remand where good cause supports the motion.

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