I've almost never seen a conviction for torture reversed by the California Court of Appeal. Virtually every single opinion concludes that the conduct in question indeed constitutes "torture" under California law.
Add this opinion to the list. Justice Davis concludes therein that it indeed constitutes "torture" for the defendant to punch the victim in the face three or four times and then immediately run away. The entire attack probably lasted 10 seconds or less. Justice Davis holds that this qualifies as "torture".
I guess "torture" ain't what it used to be.