Bradford R. Fenocchio
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: August 17, 2009
Public information Officer
Assistant District Attorney
THREE-STRIKE OFFENDER LOSES
APPEAL OVER LENGTHY SENTENCE
A three-strike offender who thought his lengthy prison sentence for a drunken-driving conviction was cruel and unusual punishment has been denied an appeal to have the length of his incarceration significantly reduced.
The Third District Court of Appeal cut two years from the sentence given to Jack Loyd Mecum – making it a 26-years-to-life term -- because of an error over enhancements in the penalty imposed.
But the court said the 26-year minimum sentence for Mecum was a just punishment when considering the 58-year-old Sacramento man’s violent criminal history and the fact that he’d received three DUIs from 1999 to 2004 before picking up a fourth in 2005.
The appeal court noted that before Mecum entered his no contest plea to felony DUI before Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry D. Gaddis in 2007, he’d been given no promises or deals on what the sentence might be.
The court acknowledged that all parties understood that Mecum planned to file a request to have one of the strikes possibly stricken from the defendant’s record. However, the judge chose not to dismiss any of the strikes.
The appeal court noted that Mecum’s life of crime as an adult began at 18, and that he racked up eight felony and 12 misdemeanor convictions between 1969 and 2005. He violated parole six times and had his license suspended seven times, the appeal court judges wrote.
Among some of his crimes were two assaults with a deadly weapon, exhibiting a firearm, armed robbery, receiving stolen property and inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, the judges wrote.
On his last DUI in 2005 when Mecum was stopped as he drove 10 mph on Interstate 80 in Placer County, his blood alcohol level was measured at 0.19 percent – more than twice the legal limit in which a person is considered intoxicated in California.
The appeal court judges wrote that the trial court judge had concluded that Mecum “continued his life of crime unabated and was not outside the spirit of the three strikes law.”
“The record supports the trial court’s conclusion,” the judges wrote. “Defendant has simply failed to meet his burden of clearly showing that the sentence was irrational or arbitrary.”
Placer County Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Macumber, who prosecuted Mecum in 2007, said she was pleased with the appellate court’s decision.
“Mr. Mecum is a dangerous criminal offender,” she said. “At his age, it is unlikely that he’ll ever be released from custody.”
The appellate court’s nonpublished opinion can be found on the Web at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/C058380.PDF.