Judge Approves Defense Argument for Rehab over Incarceration

By Ivan Villegas

WOODLAND, CA – “What good does it do him if he wants to rehabilitate his life, to spend more of it in custody,” asked criminal defense attorney Rodney J. Beede this week in Yolo County Superior Court in response to the prosecution’s request to keep the accused in custody instead of mandatory supervision.

During a hearing where the accused would be sentenced for violating the terms of mandatory supervision, the Yolo County Superior Court judge asked Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays for comments on the probation department’s recommendations for mandatory supervision.

“So, releasing him time served today is really frustrating because he was on mandatory supervision, picked up a new case, and so it looks like he’s done all of this time,” DDA Hays began.

DDA Hays continued, seemingly speaking to the accused, “It seems like you’re not doing well on mandatory supervision, you’re committing new crimes, it doesn’t seem like at that point you should be getting the same deal that you got when you got your first deal.”

The judge then asked DDA Hays about the stipulated sentence, to which she had no argument over, but insisted the accused not be released that day on mandatory supervision.

“I’m arguing for at least another 150 or 180 days in custody. I think that that would be fair,” summarized DDA Hays.

The judge then asked how long the accused was out of custody.

DDA Hays explained the accused has been sentenced on two separate 2019 cases, and that he picked up a new case in 2021 while serving the sentence on the previous cases.

In this new 2021 case, DDA Hays explained, the probation department was recommending “…giving 148 days towards that time, so I think that should be completely done in custody[.]”

Defense attorney Beede said, “I hear what Ms. Hays is saying. On the other hand he’s spent a tremendous amount of time in custody already.”

Beede added. “He will be in a program, as Ms. Hays acknowledges. If he walks away from the supervised portion of the sentence, if he doesn’t do the things that he is mandated to do he’s going to come back[.]”

The judge then deferred to the accused, who was present in custody, asking, “[i]f you are in this program what are you going to do with it?”

“Change my life, sir,” said the accused.

The judge responded, “[i]n what way, and what tools would you use?”

“Stop using drugs and hanging around bad influences,” said the accused.

The judge warned “recognize that if you don’t, I’m going to follow the probation’s recommendation. Show them that it will work for you by complying with what they ask you to do, what I’m ordering you to do, and what you just told me you want to do.”

“Yes, your Honor,” said the accused.

Before coming to a decision, the judge said “[k]eep that in mind when you start thinking about going the wrong direction.”

The judge decided to allow the accused to be released on mandatory supervision, following the probation department’s recommendations and all of the terms of probation.

Wrapping up the hearing, the judge added, “I respect what Ms. Hays has argued for. And it’s not a bad argument, so again I want to emphasize there’s more time for you if you don’t comply with all these terms of probation.”

About The Author

Ivan Villegas (he/him) is a criminal justice graduate from CSU Sacramento. He wishes to continue his studies in law school starting in fall 2023. He is interested in immigration and international law, and hopes to use his degree for a career as an immigration attorney.

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