Tag Archives: Attempted Murder


Prosecution’s Constitutional Challenge to SB 1437 Rejected and CSC Review Denied
April 14th, 2020

SB 1437 bars liability for felony murder where the defendant wasn’t the actual killer, didn’t intend to kill, and wasn’t a major participant in the underlying felony. In Gooden, the C/A People v. Superior Court (Gooden); 42 CA5th 270 rejected the DA’s argument that SB 1437 unconstitutionally amended Proposition 7 or Proposition 115. Furthermore, People […]


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Two Issues Regarding Accomplice Liability for Attempted Murder Currently Before the CSC
March 17th, 2020

In 2018, the Legislature and the Governor signed into law Senate Bill No. 1437, (Penal Code which restricted the circumstances under which a person can be liable for felony murder and abrogated the natural and probable consequences doctrine as applied to murder. (Stats. 2018, ch. 1015.) It also established a procedure permitting qualified persons with […]


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Attempted Murder Kill Zone Doctrine: Trial Courts Should “Tread Carefully”
February 26th, 2020

“We emphasize that going forward trial courts must exercise caution when determining whether to permit the jury to rely upon the kill zone theory. Indeed, we anticipate there will be relatively few cases in which the theory will be applicable and an instruction appropriate. Trial courts should tread carefully when the prosecution proposes to rely […]


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Aider and Abettor: Natural and Probable Consequences – Unanimity as to Commission of Nontarget Offense
October 22nd, 2019

The majority opinion in People v. Smith (2014) 60 Cal. 4th 603 concluded that the requirement of juror unanimity as to all essential elements of the charge does not apply to commission of the nontarget offense alleged under the natural and probable consequences doctrine:   The prosecution theory was that Littleton was the killer. But […]


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When Does the Evidence Support Instruction on “Kill Zone” Theory of Attempted Murder?
June 5th, 2019

People v. Medina (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 146 held that the judge erroneously gave the CALCRIM “kill zone” instruction (CC 600) because there was no evidence that the defendant had “a primary target” whom he attempted to kill:   For purposes of an attempted murder charge, intent to kill does not transfer to nontargeted individuals. Nonetheless, […]


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CSC Opinion on “Kill Zone” Instruction Expected in Early July 2019
June 3rd, 2019

This post California Supreme Court Poised to Weigh In Again on the “Kill Zone” Doctrine March 30th, 2015 discusses People v. Canizales, No. S221958, a case concerning the “kill zone” theory of attempted murder which is currently before the CSC. On April 3, the CSC heard oral argument on another in Canizales. An opinion can […]


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Reversible Chiu Error: Not Clear Beyond A Reasonable Doubt That Jurors Rejected Natural and Probable Consequences Theory
August 22nd, 2016

People v. Brown (2016) 247 CA4th 211 reversed Brown’s first degree murder conviction in light of People v. Chiu (2014) 59 Cal.4th 155. The jury was instructed on three first degree murder theories: (1) Brown was the actual killer, (2) he aided and abetted the actual killer with the intent to kill, and (3) he […]


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Chiu Error: Review Granted to Reconsider People v. Favor (2012) 54 Cal.4th 868
August 15th, 2016

The CSC has granted review in several cases to consider whether to convict an aider and abettor of attempted willful, deliberate and premeditated murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, must a premeditated attempt to murder have been a natural and probable consequence of the target offense? In other words, should People v. Favor […]


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Chiu Applies Retroactively to Convictions That Were Final on Appeal When Chiu Was Decided
August 9th, 2016

In re Lopez (2016) 246 CA4th 350 concerned a conviction which was final on appeal when People v. Chiu (2014) 59 C4th 155 was decided. See The Chiu Doctrine Explained.  The Chiu opinion did not state whether it applied retroactively to convictions that were final on appeal when it was decided. Lopez concluded that Chiu […]


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Chiu Doctrine Not Applicable to Transferred Intent
August 1st, 2016

People v. Chiu (2014) 59 C4th 155 held that an aider and abettor could not be found guilty of premeditated murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine because the mental state for premeditation and deliberation is “uniquely subjective and personal.” (See The Chiu Doctrine Explained.) However, People v. Vasquez (2016) 246 CA4th 1019 held […]


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