Tag Archives: Attempted Murder


Defendants Whose Cases Are Pending on Appeal May Seek to Stay Their Appeals in Order to Pursue Relief Under SB 1437
January 4th, 2021

People v. Gentile (Dec. 17, 2020, S256698) concluded that SB 1437 bars a conviction for second degree murder under the natural and probable consequences theory. It also held that the procedure set forth in section PC 1170.95 is the exclusive mechanism for retroactive relief and thus the ameliorative provisions of SB 1437 do not apply […]


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SB 1437, Which Amended the Natural and Probable Consequences Doctrine as It Relates to Murder, Bars a Conviction for Second Degree Murder Under That Theory
December 23rd, 2020

When an accomplice aids and abets a crime, the accomplice is culpable for both that crime and any other offense committed that is the natural and probable consequence of the aided and abetted crime. Natural and probable consequences liability can be imposed even if the accomplice did not intend the additional offense. (People v. McCoy […]


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SB 1437 and Attempted Murder
August 27th, 2020

A recurring issue in Court of Appeal opinions is whether SB 1437 applies to attempted murder liability under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, and there is currently a split in authority. The California Supreme will consider this issue in People v. Lopez (2019) 38 Cal.App.5th 1087, review granted 11/13/2019 (S258175/B271516). See this post: Two […]


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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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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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