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Giving Drugs That Cause Harm Is Not Necessarily The Personal Infliction Of Great Bodily Injury

06/21/2021--In People v. Ollo, the Supreme Court today held the illegally furnishing of drugs that cause injury to the drug user does not automatically require imposing the sentence enhancement for “[a]ny person who personally inflicts great bodily injury.” The court’s unanimous opinion by Justice Goodwin Liu says that the enhancement’s propriety “depends on the facts of the particular case” and requires examining “the circumstances of the underlying offense and the defendant’s role in causing the injury that followed.” The court concluded that the “voluntariness of a victim’s ingestion” of the drug is important: “When a defendant administers the drugs without the victim’s consent, the defendant has participated in the injury-causing act and thus may be held liable for personal infliction of the overdose. Where a defendant simply provides drugs to a user who subsequently overdoses, the defendant facilitates but does not personally inflict the overdose.” The court reverses the Second District, Division Two, Court of Appeal, which had concluded that “drug dealers are liable for additional prison time whenever the persons to whom they furnish drugs are subjected to great bodily injury due to their drug use.”

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