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F 4.02 n1 Insanity: Special Instruction Based On PC 25.5 Improper Unless Defendant Contends Insanity Was Solely Caused By Intoxication Or Mental Defect Resulting From Substance Abuse.
PC 25.5 “erects an absolute bar prohibiting use of one’s voluntary ingestion of intoxicants as the sole basis for an insanity defense, regardless whether the substances caused organic damage or a settled mental defect or disorder which persists after the immediate effects of the intoxicant have worn off.” (People v. Robinson (99) 72 CA4th 421, 427 [84 CR2d 832].)
However, in a case where the defendant does not present evidence that his or her insanity was solely caused by intoxication or substance abuse, instructing the jury based on PC 25.5 is improper. (Robinson at 428.)
Insanity From Intoxication: Definition Of Right And Wrong
(PC 1026, et seq.)
*Add at end of ¶ 4 of CJ 4.02:
The term wrong as used in this instruction refers both to legal wrong and moral wrong. ¶ If during the commission of a crime defendant was incapable of distinguishing either (1) legal right from wrong; or (2) moral right from wrong, [he] [she] is legally insane.
Points and Authorities
In People v. Stress (88) 205 CA3d 1259 [252 CR 913], the court observed that, “[i]t is clear that in California ‘wrong’ as the term is used in PC 25(d), refers both to legal wrong and moral wrong.” (People v. Stress 205 CA3d at 1272.) Hence, even though a person may know that the act is unlawful, that person is insane if incapable of understanding that the act is morally wrong. (People v. Skinner (85) 39 C3d 765, 783 [217 CR 685]; People v. Stress 205 CA3d at 1275.)
CJ 4.02 does not convey this principle because it merely refers to right and wrong without any differentiation between the lawful sense and the moral sense. Hence, the supplement to CJ 4.02 set forth above should be given.
Failure to adequately instruct upon a defense or defense theory implicates the defendant’s state (Art. I, § 15 and § 16) and federal (6th and 14th Amendments) constitutional rights to trial by jury, compulsory process and due process. [See generally, FORECITE PG VII(C).]
The same considerations discussed above apply to definition of right and wrong in CJ 4.00a regarding insanity resulting from intoxication.