Feb. 21, 2023 – People v. Johnson (1st Dist., Div. 4, A162599)

Pursuant to PC 667.6(d), the trial court found that defendant’s convictions under PC 288(b)(1) occurred “on separate occasions” and imposed consecutive full terms. The Court of Appeal holds that this violated the Sixth Amendment, in that PC 667.6(d) mandated full terms, rather than one-third terms, based on judicial factfinding. The court rejects defendant’s argument that his de facto LWOP sentence is cruel and unusual. In a concurring opinion, Justice Streeter encourages the California Supreme Court to consider whether de facto LWOP sentences like defendant’s are cruel or unusual under the state constitution. 

Note: A similar issue regarding PC 667.6(d) is currently pending in the California Supreme Court in People v. Catarino (S271828).