On the morning of October 29, Steven Bruce Miller rushed into One West Bank in Redondo Beach, wearing a bandana over his face and holding a handgun. After announcing he was committing a robbery, Steven Bruce Miller demanded money from four different bank employees at gunpoint, repeatedly yelled profanities and threatened to kill them. The employees surrendered approximately $9,000 in cash, and Steven Miller fled. He was arrested after dropping a pillow case at the scene, which contained his DNA.
Steven Bruce Miller was charged by amended information with four counts of second degree robbery, with special allegations he had personally used a firearm to commit the offenses. Steven Bruce Miller was also alleged to have suffered three prior serious or violent felony convictions within the meaning of the “Three Strikes law” and to have previously served two separate prison terms for felonies.
The jury convicted Steven Bruce Miller as charged and found true the firearm-use enhancement allegations. In a bifurcated proceeding, Steven Bruce Miller admitted he had previously suffered three prior strike convictions and had served two separate prison terms.
Steven Bruce Miller appeals from the judgment entered following his convictions arising from a bank robbery.
Steven Bruce Miller, who was 32 years old at the time of the robberies, contends his sentence of 160 years to life in state prison was unconstitutionally excessive in light of his age, mental illness and nonviolent criminal history. Because he failed to raise this issue in the trial court, Steven Bruce Miller has forfeited this claim.
Federal courts have consistently rejected claims that life terms imposed on recidivists like Steven Miller violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment contained in the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
California appellate courts likewise have consistently rejected claims that sentences imposed under recidivist statutes violate the prohibition against cruel or unusual punishment contained in the California Constitution.
Steven Bruce Miller’s state prison sentence of 160 years to life was properly based on his current crime, his recidivist behavior and his lack of regard for rehabilitation.
The judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Seven.
The facts summarized above are excerpted from what was written by the Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Seven. More information is available from the source documents: B239942., Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Seven, July 15, 2013, opinion of Woods with Perluss and Zelon concurring.