Review of a Ruling on a Romero Motion
In People v. Carmony (2004) 33 Cal.4th 367, the California Supreme Court recently summarized the law applicable to review of a ruling on a Romero motion (People v. Superior Court (Romero) (1996) 13 Cal.4th 497). " 'A court's discretionary decision to dismiss or to strike a sentencing allegation under section 1385' is reviewable for abuse of discretion." (Carmony, at p. 373.)
"In reviewing for abuse of discretion, we are guided by two fundamental precepts.
First, ' "the burden is on the party attacking the sentence to clearly show that the sentencing decision was irrational or arbitrary. In the absence of such a showing, the trial court is presumed to have acted to achieve legitimate sentencing objectives, and its discretionary determination to impose a particular sentence will not be set aside on review." '
Second, a ' "decision will not be reversed merely because reasonable people might disagree. 'An appellate tribunal is neither authorized nor warranted in substituting its judgment for the judgment of the trial judge.' " ' Taken together, these precepts establish that a trial court does not abuse its discretion unless its decision is so irrational or arbitrary that no reasonable person could agree with it." (Carmony I, at pp. 376-377.)
As the court further explained:
" 'The Three Strikes law does not offer a discretionary sentencing choice, as do other sentencing laws, but establishes a sentencing requirement to be applied in every case where the defendant has at least one qualifying strike, unless the sentencing court 'concludes that an exception to the scheme should be made because, for articulable reasons which can withstand scrutiny for abuse, this defendant should be treated as though he actually fell outside the Three Strikes scheme.' " (Id. at p. 377.)