Tag Archives: CC 763


Ring Claim Down But Not Out
April 28th, 2020

California Law Violates USSC Precedents Including Hurst v. Florida (2016) _U.S._ 136 S. Ct. 616 October 7th, 2018   it was suggested that counsel should request an instruction that the jury “could impose a death sentence only if it found that aggravating factors outweighed mitigating factors beyond a reasonable doubt,” based on Ring v. Arizona […]


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How Should the Jury Be Instructed in a Death Penalty Case in Which the Defendant Asked for the Death Penalty?
October 25th, 2019

In People v. Anderson (2018) 5 Cal.5th 372, 423 the defendant asked the jury at the punishment phase to give him the death penalty. The California Supreme Court held that the instruction set forth below “was sufficient to protect defendant from an unreliable verdict.”   Sample Instruction:   Each of you remains obligated to decide […]


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Death Penalty Mitigation: Jurors Should Consider “Any Credible Evidence” Of Mitigating Factors
September 24th, 2019

People v. Powell (2018) 6 Cal.5th 136, 186, while not holding that such instructions were required, concluded that the standards applicable to mitigation evidence were sufficiently explained by the standard CALJIC instructions and an instruction advising “the jury that mitigating factors need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and that a mitigating factor may […]


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California Law Violates USSC Precedents Including Hurst v. Florida (2016) _U.S._ 136 S. Ct. 616
October 7th, 2018

The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments require any fact other than a prior conviction be proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt if the existence of that fact serves to increase the statutory maximum penalty for the crime. Cunningham v. California, 549 U.S. 270, 281-82, […]


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Impact of Defendant’s Inability to Remember His Commission of the Offense on Whether He Should be Executed.
September 6th, 2018

Madison v. Alabama (17-7505) will be argued in the United States Supreme Court on October 2, 2018.   Questions presented: “1. Consistent with the Eighth Amendment, and this Court’s decisions in Ford and Panetti, may the State execute a prisoner whose mental disability leaves him without memory of his commission of the capital offense? See […]


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Death Penalty Mitigation: Fetal Alcohol Evidence (FAE)
October 3rd, 2016

In Trevino v. Davis (5th Cir. 2016) 829 F.3d 328 the district court erred by concluding that evidence of Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE) was “double-edged,” suggesting future dangerousness, so there was no prejudice from trial counsel’s failure to develop it.  According to petitioner’s habeas expert, “his history of FAE clearly had an impact on his […]


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Death Penalty: Aggravating and Mitigating Circumstances
August 21st, 2015

CC 763, which lists those factors that can be considered in the penalty phase of death penalty trials, was revised on December 9, 2008. As explained by the Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions in its report to the Judicial Council, CC 763 “was revised to clarify that ‘violent criminal activity’ only includes crimes directed […]


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