State v. Song

In State v. Song, 176 Ariz. 215, 217-18, 860 P.2d 482, 484-85 (1993), the defendant was convicted of manslaughter and the trial court found he was on parole from a prior foreign felony conviction when he committed the crime. Id. at 215, 860 P.2d at 482. Song did not object in the trial court to the use of the prior conviction to enhance his sentence under a statute permitting enhancement for dangerous felonies committed while on release. Id. Song then argued on appeal that the enhancement was improper because the prior felony would not constitute a felony in Arizona. Id. The court of appeals reached Song's arguments on the merits and concluded that the Arizona statute required a person to knowingly possess a firearm while the foreign statute only required reckless possession. Id. at 215-16, 860 P.2d at 482-83. In vacating the decision, the Arizona Supreme Court held that "a defendant who fails to object to the use of a prior felony conviction on the ground that it would not constitute a felony in Arizona cannot raise the issue on appeal." Id. at 218, 860 P.3d at 485. The court reasoned that the "nature of the conviction as it relates to Arizona law is an issue of law, which like other legal issues is precluded unless raised." Id.