In Custody Informant Should Be Treated Like an Accomplice
April 20th, 2015
When the CC Committee revised CC 336 in August of 2012, it stated that “The legislature enacted Penal Code section 1111.5 requiring that the testimony of an in-custody informant be treated in a manner similar to that of an accomplice.” The committee revised CC 336, In-Custody Informant, accordingly, borrowing heavily from CC 334 and CC 335 on accomplice testimony. (Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions, Report to the Judicial Council for meeting of August 31, 2012, p. 3.) In People v. Davis (2013) 217 Cal. App. 4th 1484, the Court of Appeal held that a court must give this instruction sua sponte if the facts support it. CC 336 is extremely helpful to the defense, and should be requested whenever the prosecution is relying on the testimony of an in-custody informant. Defense counsel should vigorously argue this instruction to the jury in final argument as well.
Tags: Cautionary and Limiting Instructions, CC 336, Evidence and Witnesses, In Custody Informant