Resentencing and Dun...

Resentencing and Dunbar: Presenting the Story of Transformation

Resentencing hearings in criminal cases used to be rare; they typically followed a direct appeal and remand due to a sentencing error or reversal of one or more charges by the appellate court. Today, due to several recent changes in the law, trial courts are regularly conducting resentencing hearings. These resentencing hearings are different than the rare resentencing hearings of the past. Now, many individuals are returning to their trial courts for resentencing hearings in cases that were final years ago.  Courts are deciding new sentences with more information because people have already served lengthy periods of confinement in the Department of Corrections (DOC). They have grown, matured, rehabilitated and transformed. 

In 2023, in State v. Dunbar, 27 Wn.App.2d 238, 532 P.3d 652 (2023), the Washington Court of Appeals, Div. 3, held that at resentencing hearings trial courts may consider new information and that a resentencing hearing is de novo unless the appellate court specified otherwise.  Now there is a new story to tell – the story of transformation.  The story of transformation includes natural changes that occur over time and more – including how the person used their time to invest in themselves and into their community, despite the challenges and limitations of living incarcerated.

This CLE will be presented by WDA’s Cindy Arends Elsberry and Percy Levy.

To register, write to with “Dunbar” in the subject line. 1 hour of Law and Legal credits has been requested.