Facts: The Whatcom County Superior Court convicted petitioner Jeffrey Brooks of three counts of first degree attempted robbery and sentenced him to 120 months total confinement and 18-36 months of community custody. Brooks sought relief from personal restraint on a claim that his sentence violated RCW §9.94A.505(5) by potentially imposing a term of confinement and community custody that exceeded the 10 year maximum allowed for a conviction for attempted robbery in the first degree. The Court of Appeals denied Brooks’ personal restraint petition (PRP), and the Supreme Court of Washington granted Brooks’ request for discretionary review.
Question(s): Is the amended judgment and sentence facially valid and lawful under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1981 (SRA), Chap. 9.94A RCW?
Conclusion: Justice Chambers’ opinion for a unanimous Court held that since the Court of Appeals commissioner denied review on the condition that the State obtain an amended judgment and sentence clarifying that Brooks’ period of total confinement and community together could not exceed the statutory maximum for attempted robbery in the first degree, along with the facts that the State successfully obtained the clarification and the trial court entered an order amending the judgment and sentence consistent with the commissioner’s decision, the amended judgment and sentence were facially valid. The added community custody range to the term would only exceed the statutory maximum of confinement if it presumed both that Brooks would earn something less than 18 months of earned early release credits and that the Department of Corrections would ignore the mandates of the SRA, Chap. 9.94A RCW. Since the SRA gave the courts the power to impose sentences and the DOC the responsibility to set the amount of community custody to be served within that sentence, the amended judgment and sentence were valid and Brooks PRP was denied.
Petitioner: Jeffrey Brooks
(Counsel: David L. Donnan and Gregory C. Link)
Respondent: State of Washington
(Counsel: David A. McEachran and Hilary A. Thomas)
- Answer to Motion
- Motion for Disc Review
- Petitioner's Answer to Amicus
- Petitioner's Statement of Additional Authority
- Reply of Petitioner
- Reply to Response
- Respondent's 2nd Statement of Additional Authority
- Respondents 3rd Statement of Additional Authority
- Respondents 4th Statement of Additional Authority
- Second Supplemental Brief of Respondent
- Statement of Additional Authority
- Statement of Additional Authority Dated 1-16-09
- Supplemental Brief of Petitioner
- Supplemental Brief of Respondent
- WAPA Amicus
Argument: Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:00am
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
Opinion: 166 Wn.2d 664 (2009)
Court: Alexander4 Court (2008-2009)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.