Tag Archives: CC 334

Meaning Of LWOP: Strategy And Tactics
May 18th, 2022

Simmons v. South Carolina, 512 U.S. 154 (1994), holds that a defendant is entitled to a penalty-phase jury instruction that (if true) life-sentenced prisoners will never be eligible for parole.  For many years, the Arizona Supreme Court held that Simmons does not apply in Arizona because LWOP prisoners are entitled to apply for executive clemency.  […]

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CC 334 — Accomplice Witness: No Burden on Defense When Charged Offense Requires Defendant to Have Acted with Accomplice
May 7th, 2020

ALERT: CC 334 MAY UNCONSTITUTIONALLY SHIFT THE BURDEN OF PROOF TO THE DEFENDANT   “Sometimes a witness wears two hats: that of a witness, and that of an accomplice. California law permits placing the burden to prove such a witness’s accomplice status on a defendant. (People v. Tewksbury (1976) 15 Cal.3d 953, 963-68.) This is […]

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Should Accomplice Corroboration Instruction Be Repeated at Penalty Phase?
October 18th, 2019

In People v. Gomez (2018) 6 Cal 5th 243 the trial court failed to reinstruct the jury during the penalty phase that independent evidence must corroborate accomplice testimony.  The CSC concluded that any error was harmless.  The jury had concluded the defendant was guilty in four of five murders charged.  The prosecutor did not focus […]

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Should Jurors Be Cautioned Regarding Accomplice Testimony Which Is Neutral Or Exonerating?
October 15th, 2019

In People v. Smith (2017) 12 Cal. App. 5th 766, 778-80 the judge instructed the jury per the standard CALCRIM instructions that accomplice testimony requires corroboration before the jury may accept it as true. The appellate Court criticized these instructions because they failed to explain that the supporting evidence requirements applies “only when [the accomplice] […]

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Is Accomplice Testimony “Exonerating” When It Tends to Incriminate the Defendant of Lesser Offense?
June 18th, 2019

CC 334 instructs that accomplice testimony requires corroboration before the jury may accept it as true. However, the defense may want to consider requesting modification of CC 334 when the defendant’s statements serve to show his guilt of a lesser offense than the charged offense. (See e.g., sample below.) Statements which mitigate or lessen the […]

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Accomplice’s Out-of-Court Confession Was Inadmissible Testimonial Hearsay Which Violated the Confrontation Rights of the Defendant
June 25th, 2018

In People v. Hopson (2017) 3 Cal.5th 424 a murder conviction was reversed because the judge admitted the deceased co-perpetrator’s confession to the police. Admission of this out-of-court confession — which “pinned much of the blame on defendant” – violated defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights because it constituted inadmissible hearsay.  In so holding, the California Supreme […]

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Citation Updates by CALCRIM Committee
September 9th, 2016

In its February 2016 updates the CC committee updated citations on eleven different instructions without changing the language of the instructions. The committee notes suggested that such changes “tend to be uncontroversial.” To view these change see — https://jcc.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=4256649&GUID=4F153BB2-31D2-4B98-8257-04865BAFD5E3

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