Motive Instruction (CC 370): The Latest Calcrim Revision
December 5th, 2016

Effective August 26, 2016 the CALCRIM committee modified the bench notes for CC 1121, CC 1122, CC1125, and CC 1126 to add an admonition to not give CC 370 in such cases. See: here.

The following post addresses that change.

However, there are several issues and tactics regarding instruction on motive which CALCRIM does NOT address which will be discussed in subsequent posts including the following:

Will Lay Jurors Understand the Subtle Difference Between Intent – Which Is an Element of the Charge – and Motive – Which Is Not?

Does “Tending to Show” language in CC 370 encourage jurors to vote for guilt based on motive alone?

Should Jurors be affirmatively instructed that motive is not alone sufficient to prove guilt?

Should the motive instruction be modified when the defense argues that someone else committed the crime?

Should CC 370 be modified in cases requiring premeditation and deliberation to require consideration of planning and manner evidence?

Does CC 370 employ unconstitutional burden shifting language?

Even when motive is not an element of the charge may a juror vote to acquit based solely on the absence motive?

Does the defense have the right to a pinpoint instruction relating the absence of motive to the prosecution’s burden of proof?

Does CC 370 provide a template for defense pinpoint instructions such as the absence of flight?

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