Death Penalty: Consciousness of Guilt as Aggravation — Limiting Instruction Must Be Requested
May 9th, 2020

In People v. Anderson (2018) 5 Cal.5th 372 the defendant, after the capital murder occurred in San Diego, traveled to Oregon, was arrested there, and later made plans to escape from the county jail in Oregon.  The CSC held that the evidence was not only admissible at the culpability phase to show consciousness of guilt, but also could be considered in aggravation at the punishment phase as part of the circumstances of the capital crime.  To the extent that the jury should have been instructed that the evidence could be considered only on the issue of defendant’s guilt, defendant failed to request any such instruction and the trial court had no sua sponte duty to so instruct.

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