Inmate Ordered Freed in Prop. 36 Dispute

For the second time in less than a week, a state appellate court has ordered a Los Angeles County inmate released from jail because of ambiguities in Proposition 36.

A second appellate district panel issued the order Tuesday in response to a writ filed by the Los Angeles County public defender's office.

The statewide initiative went into effect July 1, but did not make clear whether drug offenders convicted before that date should be eligible for treatment instead of jail time.

Darrell Eugene Scoggins pleaded guilty to drug charges before July 1 but was not sentenced until after the cutoff date. A judge decided he was not eligible for sentencing under Proposition 36, his appellate attorney said.

Attorneys will appear before the panel of justices to argue the issue on Sept. 20.

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