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Name: People v. Izaguirre
Case #: S132980
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/16/2007

Firearm enhancements which were found true by a jury did not need to be stricken under the multiple conviction rule as necessarily included in the first degree murder conviction. (Companion case to People v. Sloan (S132605).)

Appellant was convicted of first degree murder with personal firearm use causing death, with a special circumstance that the murder was perpetrated by the discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle. He was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder and personally discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury under one count, and personally discharging a firearm under the remaining counts. The appellate court granted rehearing in this case to consider appellant’s claim that under Apprendi, as interpreted by the California Supreme Court in People v. Seel, neither the firearm discharge enhancement under the murder count nor the firearm-related enhancements under the attempted murder counts could be imposed, and should have been stricken because they were necessarily included within the conviction of first degree murder with a drive-by shooting special circumstance. The appellate court rejected the claims, and the Supreme Court granted review to determine whether under the Apprendi decision as interpreted by Seel, enhancements must be treated as legal elements under the multiple conviction rule, and whether the firearm enhancements had to be stricken because they were necessarily included within the drive-by shooting murder conviction. The Supreme Court rejected appellant’s arguments and affirmed. Although Seel interpreted Apprendi to treat the crime and its enhancement as the functional equivalent of a single greater crime, appellant’s enhancements could not be treated as offenses for purposes of the multiple conviction rule. Apprendi was satisfied because the jury found the enhancements true. The double jeopardy at issue in Seel was not implicated because appellant was not in danger of a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal. Therefore, the holdings in Apprendi and Seel are inapposite here and have no impact on the rule announced in Reed.