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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: F067176
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/28/2016

Inmate serving a Three Strikes life term for battery with serious bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 243, subd. (d)) is ineligible for Proposition 36 because his commitment offense is a serious felony. In 1998, Johnson severely beat two paramedics. A jury found Johnson guilty of two counts of battery with serious bodily injury and found true allegations that he personally inflicted serious bodily injury on a person other than an accomplice (Pen. Code, §§ 667, 1192.7). The jury found Johnson not guilty of two counts of assault, each of which had the further allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 12022.7). The court found two strike priors true and sentenced Johnson to 25 years to life in prison. In February 2013, Johnson filed a Proposition 36 petition for resentencing (Pen. Code, § 1170.126). The court determined that Johnson was disqualified from resentencing because his current convictions were serious felonies. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 provides that a life Three Strikes sentence may only be imposed where the current felony is serious or violent. Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice is a serious felony (Pen. Code, § 1192.7, subd. (c)(8)). Cases have long held that “serious bodily injury” under section 243 and “great bodily injury” under section 12022.7 are synonymous. Here, the jury did not make a finding on the section 12022.7 great bodily injury allegations because they were attached to the assault charges on which the jury acquitted. It did find that Johnson personally inflicted serious bodily injury under Penal Code sections 1192.7 and 667. Here, in the context of disqualifying an inmate from resentencing under Proposition 36, the court determined that there was no reason to distinguish between “serious bodily injury” and “great bodily injury” for purposes of determining whether a conviction constitutes a serious felony.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: