Consciousness Of Guilt: False Statements–Not Applicable To Trial Testimony
April 24th, 2015


Courts have said that CC 362 should not be used to permit an inference of consciousness of guilt based on knowingly false or intentionally misleading statements in a defendant’s trial testimony. (People v. Beyah (2009) 170 Cal. App. 4th 1241.) CC 362 was revised on August 14, 2009, in response to this concern. As explained by the CC Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions in its report to the Judicial Council, “In People v. Beyah, 170 Cal. App. 4th 1241, 1247-1249, 88 Cal. Rptr. 3d 829 (2 Dist. 2009), the Court of Appeal invited the committee to clarify that [CC 362],Consciousness of Guilt: False Statements refers to a defendant’s statements made before trial. Otherwise the jury might conclude the admonition was directed at a defendant’s trial testimony.” The Committee clarified that point. (Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions Report (July 11, 2009), at pp. 3-4.)

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