State v. Jenks – WSC
Court: Washington Supreme Court
Case No.: 98496-4
Hearing Date: N/A
Case Description: In 2018 the trial court sentenced Mr. Jenks to LWOP for his third strike, a conviction for the 2014 crime of robbery in the first degree. Mr. Jenks had prior convictions for robbery in the first degree and robbery in the second degree. When Mr. Jenks committed the current offense, and when the court imposed his sentence, robbery in the second degree was included in the definition of “most serious offense” making the prior a strike offense under the POAA. While his direct appeal was pending, the legislature amended the SRA to remove second degree robbery from the list of offenses that qualify as a strike offense. The Court of Appeals held that the 2019 legislation did not apply retroactively to Mr. Jenks’ case.
Amicus Description: In this brief, amici argue the Washington Supreme Court should accept review and hold that the 2019 change in the law removing robbery in the second degree from the list of three strikes offenses by removing it from the definition of “most serious offense” is retroactive. Amici also argue the court should accept review in this case to address the disproportionate impact the POAA has on Black communities and other communities of color.