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Name: People v. Iniguez
Case #: C037230
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/11/2002
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 5/1/02.

Appellant was involved in a gang-related shooting. He was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and conspiracy to commit assault. Pursuant to a negotiated disposition, appellant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit attempted murder in exchange for a nine year maximum sentence (the punishment for attempted murder) and dismissal of the other counts. Appellant appealed, arguing a sentencing issue. The Attorney General responded that the conviction had to be reversed because appellant was convicted of a nonexistent crime. The appellate court here reversed. The targeted crime of the conspiracy, attempted murder, requires a specific intent to actually commit the murder, while the agreement underlying the conspiracy pleaded to contemplated no more than an ineffectual act. No one can simultaneously intend to do and not do the same act, which here was the commission of a murder. The inconsistency in mental states makes the conspiracy to commit attempted murder a legal falsehood. The fact that the prosecutor failed to appeal does not make the plea bargain enforceable, because the sentence, having been imposed for a nonexistent offense, was unauthorized.