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No great bodily injury enhancement on murder/manslaughter counts

February 5, 2015

No great bodily injury enhancement on murder/manslaughter counts

People v. Cook

S215927

When a defendant is convicted of a crime, the sentence for that crime may sometimes be enhanced if the defendant “personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person.” (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd. (a).)  Defendant was convicted of three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter. We must decide whether the sentence for the gross vehicular manslaughter of one victim may be enhanced for defendant’s infliction of great bodily injury on other victims. The question requires us to interpret section 12022.7, subdivision (g), which provides that the enhancement “shall not apply to murder or manslaughter” or “if infliction of great bodily injury is an element of the offense.”

We conclude that subdivision (g) of section 12022.7 means what it says: Great bodily injury enhancements do not apply to a conviction for murder or manslaughter. A defendant convicted of murder or manslaughter who also commits crimes against other victims may be convicted of those additional crimes and, to the extent the sentencing laws permit, punished separately for them. But the sentence for manslaughter may not be enhanced for the infliction of great bodily injury as to anyone. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal to the extent it held defendant’s manslaughter conviction is subject to any great bodily injury enhancement.

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S215927.PDF

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