Tag Archives: CC 540B


Felony Murder Special Circumstance: Knowledge Elements May Be Negated by Mental Impairment
September 17th, 2020

PC 190.2 (d) provides that, “for the purposes of those special circumstances based on the enumerated felonies in paragraph (17) of subdivision (a), which include robbery and burglary, an aider and abettor must have been a “major participant” and have acted “with reckless indifference to human life…’.” (People v. Clark (2016) 63 Cal.4th 522, 609.) […]


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Felony Murder Special Circumstance: Knowledge Elements May Be Negated by Intoxication
September 12th, 2020

PC 190.2 (d) provides that, “for the purposes of those special circumstances based on the enumerated felonies in paragraph (17) of subdivision (a), which include robbery and burglary, an aider and abettor must have been a “major participant” and have acted “with reckless indifference to human life…’.” (People v. Clark (2016) 63 Cal.4th 522, 609.) […]


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CC 540B Factors Relevant to Whether Defendant Acted with Reckless Indifference to Human Life
March 4th, 2020

People v. Clark (2016) 63 Cal.4th 522, 614-620 identified certain factors to guide the jury in its determination of whether the defendant acted with reckless indifference to human life but did not hold that the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on those factors. Clark noted that these factors had been applied by […]


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CC 540B Factors Relevant to Whether Defendant Acted with Reckless Indifference to Human Life
March 4th, 2020

People v. Clark (2016) 63 Cal.4th 522, 614-620 identified certain factors to guide the jury in its determination of whether the defendant acted with reckless indifference to human life but did not hold that the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on those factors. Clark noted that these factors had been applied by […]


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Felony Murder: Reckless Indifference” for Tison Finding Must Not Be Based On Defendant’s Actions After The Crime
September 3rd, 2019

In re Taylor (2019) 34 Cal. App. 5th 543 held that given the lack of evidence that defendant planned anything more dangerous than a garden-variety armed robbery, reckless disregard to the risk to human life, for purposes of the felony murder special circumstance under PC 190.2 (d), was not established by defendant’s actions after the […]


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CALCRIM Proposes Changes to Felony Murder/Accomplice Instructions Per SB 1437 to Be Effective September 24, 2019
June 14th, 2019

The proposed modifications are summarized in an “Invitation to Comment” (5/28 – 7/5/19; CALCRIM-2019-01). The proposed effective date of the changes is 9/24/19. CALCRIM summarizes the proposed felony murder/accomplice changes as follows:   Senate Bill No. 1437 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.) substantially changed accomplice liability for felony murder. Malice may no longer be imputed simply from […]


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Felony Murder: Applicability of Duress to Underlying Felony
July 10th, 2015

  When a murder is based on a felony murder theory, the court has a sua sponte duty to give a duress defense instruction (CC 3402) if the defendant claims that he or she committed the underlying felony under duress. (CC 3402 Bench Notes.)  However, if the defendant formed the intent to be an aider […]


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Act Causing Death Not Distinct from Underlying Felony
July 6th, 2015

  On April 23, 2010, CC 540A, as well as CC 540B and CC 540C, were revised. As explained by the CC Committee, it was pointed out to them that the first degree felony murder instructions refer to the “act causing death” as though it were distinct from the underlying felony and this could be […]


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CC 540A, CC 540B, CC 540C–Useful Examples Of Situations Where Felony Murder Does Not Apply
January 1st, 2014

  The Related Issues section of this CC contains very useful examples on topics including felony murder not applying when the felony was done only to facilitate murder, imperfect self-defense, and the merger doctrine.


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