CC Imperfect Self Defense Instruction: Error Identified By Court Of Appeal
June 22nd, 2015


People v. Por Ye Heri (2009) 181 Cal. App. 4th 349, identified the following error in CC 571: “For killing to be in self-defense, the defendant must actually and reasonably believe in the need to defend. [Citation.] If the belief subjectively exists but is objectively unreasonable, there is imperfect self-defense. . .]Citation.] Where, as in the CC instructions, the ‘belief in the need to defend’ is described as two beliefs–(1) the belief in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury; and (2) the belief in the need to use deadly force to defend against that danger–the unreasonableness of either belief would be sufficient to transform perfect self-defense into imperfect self-defense.”

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