Tag Archives: CC 401


SB 1437 Update
June 12th, 2021

This post:   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   discusses People v. Gentile (2020) 10 Cal.5th 830, 842 which barred a conviction for second degree murder under the natural and probable consequences […]


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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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Aiding and abetting: Natural and probable consequences–Does Chui Doctrine apply to Lying in wait?
March 25th, 2020

People v. Gastelum (Feb. 25, 2020, D075368) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ [pp. 3] held that People v. Chiu (2014) 59 Cal.4th 155 does not apply to first degree murder based on lying in wait. The court observed that because Chiu did not consider the first degree lying-in-wait murder at issue here, and Gastelum did not provide […]


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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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CC 401 SHOULD EXPRESSLY ADDRESS THE FACT THAT MERE KNOWLEDGE OF THE CRIME IS INSUFFICIENT FOR AIDER AND ABETTOR LIABILITY
September 5th, 2017

CALCRIM 401 correctly states that “being present as the scene of the crime or [failure] to prevent the crime does not, by itself, make [a person] an aider and abettor.” (See People v. Durham (1969) 70 C2d 171, 181; In re Jose T. (1991) 230 CA3d 1455, 1460.)   However, the CALCrim language is incomplete […]


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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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