Tag Archives: CC 372

Limiting Ability of Penalty Phase Jurors to Consider Consciousness of Guilt As Non-Statutory Aggravation
October 3rd, 2022

When consciousness of guilt evidence is admitted at the guilt trial of a death penalty trial that evidence may include “ ‘aggravating evidence of a type not statutorily authorized.’ [Citation.]” (People v. Anderson (2018) 5 Cal.5th 372, 393.) For example, consciousness of guilt may be interpreted by the jurors “as evidence of bad character, and […]

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Judge’s Duty to Draft and Give Instructions Not Included in CALCRIM
May 3rd, 2022

In People v. Pettigrew (2021) 62 Cal.App.5th 477, 500 the judge erroneously instructed the jurors that they could consider the defendant’s attempted suicide as flight per CC 372. Instead, because no CC instructions addressed the issue of attempted suicide vis-a-vis consciousness of guilt the judge (or prosecutor who had presented the attempted suicide evidence and […]

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Death Penalty: Consciousness of Guilt as Aggravation — Limiting Instruction Must Be Requested
May 9th, 2020

In People v. Anderson (2018) 5 Cal.5th 372 the defendant, after the capital murder occurred in San Diego, traveled to Oregon, was arrested there, and later made plans to escape from the county jail in Oregon.  The CSC held that the evidence was not only admissible at the culpability phase to show consciousness of guilt, […]

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Consciousness of Guilt: Using Evidence Code 353 to Get a Limited Admissibility Instruction
April 17th, 2020

–Consciousness of Guilt and Mens Rea. Consciousness of guilt evidence is widely accepted as admissible to prove that the defendant was …. consciousness that he has committed some wrongdoing. (People v. Bolin (1998) 18 Cal.4th 297, 327; see also e.g, CC 372 [“awareness of guilt”].) However, it is also accepted that the defendant’s awareness of […]

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Should Consciousness Of Guilt Instructions Such As Flight Be Limited To The Determination Of Guilt In Death Penalty Case?
August 19th, 2019

People v. Anderson (2018) 5 Cal. 5th 372, 391-93 recognized that evidence showing consciousness of guilt, such as flight or escaping from jail, is generally admissible within the trial court’s discretion. Thus, the existence of alternate explanations for the defendant’s behavior does not necessarily defeat the court’s discretion to admit consciousness-of-guilt evidence. However, when consciousness […]

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Is Flight Instruction Prejudicial Even Though Defendant Absent by Judge’s Order?
July 23rd, 2019

In People v. Johnson (2018) 6 Cal.5th 541 the judge excluded Johnson from the courtroom for the entire trial after he assaulted his lawyer; the jurors never saw or heard him.  At guilt phase, the judge instructed the jury not to consider his absence, but also gave a standard flight instruction that allowed use, with […]

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Is It Proper to Instruct That an Excluded Defendant Was “Voluntarily” Absent?
July 10th, 2019

In People v. Johnson (2018) 6 Cal.5th 541, 589 the judge excluded Johnson from the courtroom for the entire trial after he assaulted his lawyer; the jurors never saw or heard him.  The judge instructed the jury that defendant was “voluntarily” absent and they should not take this into account.  Defense counsel objected that the […]

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