Golden Gate University Law Review


This Comment focuses on how the multiple-punishment prohibition of section 654 applies to the enhancements of one particular California statute: the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention ("STEP") Act, a piece of anti-gang legislation passed in 1988 in the wake of rampant gang-related violence in the Los Angeles area. Specifically, this discussion centers on the imposition of multiple gang-enhancement provisions on a single defendant who engages in a single crime spree. If section 654 does apply to gang enhancements, then the prosecutorial practice of attaching them to every criminal charge in an indictment violates the intent of this Penal Code section, an intent rooted in the Double Jeopardy clauses of both the California and United States Constitutions. The question potentially affects thousands of inmates who are now serving additional pnson time because of gang enhancements.