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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Authorities charged Benny Lee Campbell with possession of more than one gram but less than four grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of the Woodson Early Childhood Center. Two previous felony convictions were alleged for enhancement purposes. By itself, possession of that amount of cocaine is a third-degree felony, but under the drug-free zone statute, the Woodson Early Childhood Center allegation raised the minimum punishment by five years, and the two prior convictions resulted in an enhancement of the punishment to first-degree habitual status, with a punishment range of 25 to 99 years, or life. On a plea of not guilty, the case was tried to the bench. At the conclusion of the state’s case, the prosecutor told the judge that the state was “proceeding on the lesser-included offense of state-jail possession of controlled substance in a drug-free zone.” This was because the evidence showed that the amount of cocaine possessed was actually less than one gram. By itself, possession of that amount of cocaine the minimum level listed in the statute is a state jail felony, but the drug-free zone allegation enhanced the offense to a third-degree felony, and the two prior convictions further enhanced the punishment to first-degree habitual status. After both sides closed, the trial judge explained that “the amount of controlled substance that was testified to would be a state jail felony.” Given the testimony, the trial judge found Campbell guilty “of a state jail felony of possession of cocaine in an amount less than one gram.” The trial was recessed for a presentence investigation. At the beginning of the sentencing portion of trial, the trial judge admonished Campbell that he had been found “guilty of the state jail felony of possession of cocaine in a drug free zone.” Both sides agreed that the punishment range, due to enhancements, was 25 to 99 years. The trial judge specifically verified that Campbell understood this to be the case. Campbell pleaded true to the enhancement paragraphs. The trial judge noted that “this is a state jail felony that’s been enhanced,” and assessed punishment at imprisonment for 35 years. In explaining why he assessed punishment near the lower end of the range, the judge said that he did so because “it is, in fact, a state jail felony.” Several days later, the trial judge signed a written judgment, stating that Campbell had been convicted of “Possession of Cocaine in a Drug Free Zone . . . Third Degree Enhanced with two prior offenses.” On appeal to the 11th Court of Appeals, Campbell contended that the judgment should be reformed to reflect guilt of possession of cocaine rather than possession of cocaine in a drug-free zone and that the case be remanded to the trial court for reassessment of punishment within the second-degree felony range. The 11th Court agreed, holding that the trial judge’s statement during the sentencing hearing that the offense was “a state jail felony” constituted the trial judge’s oral pronouncement of judgment for a state jail felony, “even though the conduct it found Campbell committed would constitute a third degree felony.” Because possession in a drug-free zone was a third-degree felony, the appellate court believed it must harmonize the written judgment with the supposed oral rendition by modifying the written judgment to reflect the offense of simple possession, along with its status as a state jail felony. As a result of that modification, the 11th Court reversed the sentence and remanded for a new punishment hearing. Chief Justice Jim R. Wright of the 11th Court dissented. He contended that the trial judge orally pronounced the defendant guilty of the offense of possession of cocaine less than one gram in a drug free zone. He argued that the trial judge’s reference to “state jail” was a description simply of the amount of cocaine possessed and not of the eventual punishment status of the offense. HOLDING:The CCA reversed the judgment of the 11th Court of Appeals and affirmed the judgment of the trial court. The CCA agreed with the chief justice. The trial judge’s comments, the CCA stated, indicated that he found the defendant guilty of a state-jail felony, enhanced by a drug-free zone finding to a third-degree felony, and further enhanced by two previous convictions to first-degree habitual status. Furthermore, the record showed that this was clear to all parties at the time. OPINION:Keller, P.J., delivered the opinion of the Court in which Price, Womack, Johnson, Keasler, Hervey, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., joined. DISSENT:Meyers, J., dissented without a written opinion.

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