California Penal Code Section 12022.5 - Interpretation

In People v. Strickland (1974) 11 Cal.3d 946, the prosecution charged defendant with murder and alleged, pursuant to then section 12022.5, that he used a firearm in the commission of that offense. At the time, section 12022.5 provided: "Any person who uses a firearm in the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, murder, rape, burglary, or kidnapping, upon conviction of such crime, shall, in addition to the punishment prescribed for the crime of which he has been convicted, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of not less than five years." The jury convicted the defendant of the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter, and the trial court imposed an enhancement under section 12022.5. On appeal, defendant argued that because voluntary manslaughter was not an enumerated offense under section 12022.5 the enhancement was improper. The Supreme Court agreed that the enhancement under section 12022.5 was improper, but concluded that defendant was "nevertheless, subject to additional punishment under section 12022 of the Penal Code because of his having been armed with a deadly weapon at the time he committed the crime of voluntary manslaughter, a felony." (Id. at p. 961) The Court reasoned that the defendant "was charged in the commission with the use of a firearm under section 12022.5, and thus had notice that his conduct could also be in violation of section 12022." (Id. at p. 961.)