ARS Code 13-604 Interpretation

In State v. Tarango, 185 Ariz. 208, 914 P.2d 1300 (1996), the court held that, when the state seeks enhanced penalties for dangerous or repetitive crimes pursuant to A.R.S. 13-604, that statute's parole eligibility provisions, rather than the provisions of a conflicting drug sentencing statute that would have rendered the defendant ineligible for parole, apply to the defendant's sentence. After the court decided Tarango, the Arizona Department of Corrections began to reclassify inmates' parole eligibility based on 13-604. The state sought special action relief, challenging the application of Tarango to defendants sentenced before the case was decided. In rejecting that argument, the supreme court stated: We did not change the meaning of 13-604 in Tarango, we simply construed its meaning and its application to those who were sentenced under it. to hold that 13-604 meant something different for inmates sentenced prior to Tarango would be a logical impossibility. Simply put, there is no retroactivity issue here. 187 Ariz. at 213, 928 P.2d at 637.