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Gang Enhancements Reversed

People v. Renteria Court: Supreme Court of California, Docket: S266854, Opinion Date: August 25, 2022. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal affirming Defendant's convictions and sentences, holding that the gang penalties imposed by the trial court were unsupported by the evidence. Defendant was convicted of two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, an offense that is normally punishable by a maximum of seven years of imprisonment. While there was no evidence Defendant was accompanied by any gang members at the time of the shooting the jury found true that Defendant committed the crimes for the benefit of and with the specific intent to promote criminal conduct by gang members. Defendant challenged the gang penalties as unsupported by the evidence. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Defendant was not subject to additional punishment prescribed for felonies shown to be gang-related under Cal. Penal Code 186.22(b).


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