Felony Murder: Applicability of Duress to Underlying Felony
July 10th, 2015


When a murder is based on a felony murder theory, the court has a sua sponte duty to give a duress defense instruction (CC 3402) if the defendant claims that he or she committed the underlying felony under duress. (CC 3402 Bench Notes.)  However, if the defendant formed the intent to be an aider and abettor to the underlying felony before there was any coercion, then it is not necessary to give the instruction. (People v. Fiore (2014) 227 Cal. App. 4th 1362.)

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