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Name: People v. Calhoun et al.
Case #: S129896
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/29/2007

In this case involving convictions for gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing bodily injury which stemmed from a drag racing incident resulting in death and/or injury to multiple victims, the Court, interpreted Vehicle Code section 20001, subdivision (c) which calls for a five-year enhancement for those convicted of specified crimes who flee the scene. The Court determined that the Legislature intended the enhancement to apply to all principals convicted of the underlying offense, aiders and abettors as well as direct perpetrators. The Court also found that it was not error to rely on the aggravating factor of multiple victims to justify the upper term, even though each of the victims was listed in a separate count. As such, the Court rejected appellant’s contention that because the victims were listed in separate counts with convictions for each count, the sentence for each offense is proportionate to the seriousness of the offense. Instead, the Court viewed the separate counts as one act of violence with death or injury to multiple victims; thereby increasing the gravity of and culpability for the act so as to provide the aggravating factor justifying the upper term.