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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: S119294
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/06/2005

Because of a split of authority, the California Supreme Court granted review in this case to review the following issue: Is a defendant who is convicted of first degree murder with a finding that the offense was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang within the meaning of Penal Code section 186.22 subject to an enhancement of 10 years under section 186.22(b)(1)(C) or, alternatively, a minimum parole eligibility term of 15 years under section 186.22(b)(5)? The Court in this opinion held that first degree murder is a violent felony which is punishable by imprisonment for life and therefore is not subject to a 10-year enhancement under section 186.22(b)(1)(C). The plain language of section 186.22(b)(5) governs.