Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
January 31, 2013
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WHO: Inmate Richard Kingsberry, 57
WHAT: Was resentenced Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, under Proposition 36 by the Honorable W. Michael Hayes over the objection of the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office. Kingsberry is scheduled to be released this week from San Quentin State Prison.
Kingsberry’s Criminal Background and Commitment Offense
Kingsberry has been convicted 15 times as an adult, 10 of which were for felonies. At the time the Proposition 36 petition was filed, Kingsberry was serving his fifth separate term in state prison.
On July 3, 1973, merely two months after turning 18 years old, Kingsberry was convicted of petty theft and sentenced to serve 15 days in jail starting July 9, 1973; however, on July 5, 1973, Kingsberry was again convicted of another petty theft.
On July 26, 1973, Kingsberry was arrested of grand theft auto.
On Sept. 2, 1973, Kingsberry was convicted of one felony count of attempted vehicle taking and was sentenced to one year in jail.
On Aug. 29, 1974, Kingsberry was convicted of a misdemeanor vehicle taking and was sentenced to eight days in jail.
On Sept. 8, 1974, Kingsberry was convicted of burglary and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
On Dec. 21, 1974, Kingsberry was convicted of one felony count of grand theft auto and was sentenced to six months in jail.
On July 7, 1975, and Aug. 8, 1975, Kingsberry was charged with one felony count each of burglary of an automobile and grand theft auto, respectively. On Sept. 3, 1975, he pleaded guilty to a separate felony count of grand theft auto and was sentenced to one year in jail. As a result of the guilty plea, the July and August charges were dismissed.
On July 25, 1976, Kingsberry was charged with one felony count of driving under the influence. Three days later, on July 28, 1976, he was charged with one felony count of vehicle taking. He was sentenced Aug. 30, 1977, to 263 days in jail.
On Dec. 31, 1976, while the above July 1976 case was pending, Kingsberry was charged with one felony count of robbery. This was his first Strike conviction, and he was sentenced to two years to life in state prison on Sept. 23, 1977.
On Sept. 26, 1979, while on parole Kingsberry was charged with attempted robbery of a cab driver, but the case was dismissed when the victim did not show up for trial. His parole was revoked and he was sent back to state prison and released Mar. 26, 1980.
On May 21, 1980, Kingsberry was again charged with robbery of a cab driver. This was his second Strike conviction, and he was sentenced to three years in state prison on Nov. 14, 1980.
On May 27, 1984, Kingsberry was convicted of one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 25 days in jail.
On July 24, 1984, Kingsberry was convicted of one felony count of attempted robbery with a firearm. This was his third Strike offense, and he was sentenced to 14 years in state prison on Oct. 26, 1991.
On Jan. 30, 1992, Kingsberry was convicted of one felony count of burglary and was sentenced to five years in state prison.
On Dec. 1, 1994, while out on parole, Kingsberry was arrested for theft. His parole was revoked, and he was sent back to state prison.
On June 8, 1995, Kingsberry violated parole by being in possession of cocaine and absconding and was sent back to state prison.
On Aug. 19, 1996, Kingsberry was charged with one felony count of being in possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced Nov. 1, 1996, to 25 years to life in state prison due to his prior Three Strikes.
Unreasonable Public Safety Risk
Deputy District Attorney Chris Kralick opposed Kingsberry’s resentencing on behalf of the OCDA, arguing that the inmate’s criminal history predisposes him to re-offend once released and poses an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.
What is Proposition 36?
In 1994, California voters passed the Three Strikes Law, which allowed state courts to impose a sentence of 25 years to life in prison for defendants convicted of two prior serious or violent felonies upon conviction of a new felony offense. As Three Strikes sentencing is imposed at the discretion of the presiding judge, less than 10 percent of defendants eligible to be sentenced under Three Strikes in Orange County received the 25 year to life sentence.
On Nov. 6, 2012, Proposition 36 passed in California, limiting the Three Strikes Law primarily only to offenders who had been convicted of “serious or violent” offenses as their most recent offense. Defendants who committed two violent offenses before committing a non-violent felony offense may be eligible to file a petition to get a hearing to be released under Proposition 36. The new law authorizes re-sentencing for defendants currently serving Third-Strike life sentences if the defendant files a petition and the judge opines that resentencing does not pose an unreasonable danger to the public. To date, the OCDA has received over 100 petitions for resentencing under Proposition 36.
It is the OCDA’s intent to scrutinize every petition, conduct a case-by-case analysis, and vigorously uphold public safety by arguing against the release of all inmates who pose an unreasonable danger to the community. Each inmate has been afforded their due process in multiple legal hearings, trial(s), and appeals, both pre and post-conviction.