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Name: People v. Modiri
Case #: H023584
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/24/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 12/23/03: S120238

Appellant was convicted of assault, with enhancements for infliction of great bodily injury (GBI) and use of a deadly weapon. The convictions were the result of a group assault on the victim. On appeal, he argued that the GBI enhancement had to be reversed because the trial court’s instruction on that allegation (CALJIC 17.20) did not require the jury to find that he personally inflicted that injury. The appellate court here agreed, finding that the “group beating” language of CALJIC 17.20 is erroneous to the extent that it permits the jury to substitute a knowledge finding for a finding that the defendant directly performed that act which caused the injury. (Disagreeing with the Fourth District in People v. Banuelos.) Further, the error was prejudicial given the evidence that the victim’s injuries were caused by others involved in the assault.