State v. Thorne

In State v. Thorne, 129 Wn.2d 736, 921 P.2d 514 (1996), the Court concluded that the POAA is a sentencing statute codified as part of the SRA and does not define the "elements" of the status of being a habitual criminal. 129 Wn.2d at 779. Therefore, the prior convictions that result in a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole need not be pleaded in the information. All that is required by the constitution and the statute is a sentencing hearing where the trial judge decides by a preponderance of the evidence whether the prior convictions exist. RCW 9.94A.110; Thorne, 129 Wash. 2d at 782.