Firearm & Gang Enhancements Impermissible
California v. Ramos Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: D074429 (Fourth Appellate District), Opinion Date: April 13, 2023. In a joint trial involving a gang shooting, a jury convicted Daniel Ramos and Elias Ramos of: first degree murder; attempted first degree murder; and possession of a firearm by a felon. The jury also made true findings on firearm and gang enhancements. The court sentenced Daniel (the shooter) to an aggregate prison term of 92 years to life and Elias (the aider and abettor) to 84 years to life. Daniel and Elias appealed, raising over 30 issues. The Court of Appeal originally issued an opinion in late 2020, addressing all of the issues raised by defendants and affirming the judgments. The California Supreme Court subsequently granted Daniel and Elias’s petitions for review and held the matter pending its eventual decision in California v. Tirado, 12 Cal.5th 688 (2022). After Tirado issued, the matter was transferred back to the Court of Appeal with directions to vacate its decision and reconsider the cause in light of Tirado. As a result of the remand, and as a result of statutory amendments to Penal Code section 186.22, the appellate court found the true findings on the gang enhancement allegations as to both Daniel and Elias in counts 1, 2, and 3 had to be reversed, as well as the true finding on the firearm enhancements for Elias in counts 1 and 2, which depended on the true finding on the gang enhancements. As a result of the new enactments the following sentences and enhancements became legally impermissible,: (1) For Elias, (a) the 25-year- to-life sentence for the firearm enhancement in count 1; (b) the 20 year sentence for the firearm enhancement in count 2; (c) the four-year sentence for the gang enhancement in count 3; (d) the upper term three-year sentence on count 3; (e) a $154 fee imposed (to the extent it remained unpaid); and (2) for Daniel, (a) the 15-year- to-life sentence on count 2, which had to be reduced to a sentence of seven years to life, absent a legally permissible finding on the gang enhancement for that count; (b) the four-year sentence for the gang enhancement in count 3; (c) the upper term three-year sentence on count 3; and (d) the $154 fee imposed (to the extent it remained unpaid). The case was remanded for resentencing. In all other respects, the judgments were affirmed.
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