California Penal Code Section 3046 - Interpretation

Penal Code section 3046 requires that a defendant spend a minimum of seven years in prison before consideration if he may be released on parole In People v. Jefferson (1999) 21 Cal.4th 86, 99, the California Supreme Court held: "Section 3046 specifies the minimum term for an indeterminate sentence as 'seven calendar years . . . .'" The Jefferson court looked to the statutory construction of these two sections and determined that a defendant with one prior serious felony conviction who is subsequently incarcerated for an indeterminate term of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole should be sentenced to twice the minimum term of his indeterminate sentence. (People v. Jefferson, supra, 21 Cal.4th at pp. 95, 99.)