Tag Archives: Defense Theory: Mens Rea/Intent


Is Larcenous Intent an Element of Robbery?
September 12th, 2016

For decades CALJIC 9.40 has relied on the literal language of PC 211 to define the specific intent required for robbery as an intent to permanently deprive the possessor of the property that is taken. However, this definition is erroneous because robbery requires an intent to steal which is defined as an intent to permanently […]


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Mens Rea and PTSD
August 22nd, 2016

People v. Herrera (2016) 247 CA4th 467 held that exclusion of psychiatric testimony regarding the defendant’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) required reversal of his murder conviction. PC 28 and 29 limit the use of mental disorder evidence to negate a defendant’s capacity to form any mental state is prohibited, but may be offered on the […]


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CC 3428 Too Narrowly Limits Jurors’ Use of Mental State Evidence
July 11th, 2016

In People v. Townsel (2016) 63 C4th 25, the jury was instructed with a version of CJ 3.32 which provided as follows: “Evidence has been received regarding a mental defect or mental disorder of the defendant, Anthony Townsel at the time of the crime charged in Counts 1 and 2. You may consider such evidence […]


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Mere Knowledge and “Failure to Prevent” Instructions
May 22nd, 2015

  Failure to prevent a crime is not enough to make a person an aider and mere knowledge that another is going to commit a crime is not enough to make a person an aider. “Neither his mere presence at the scene of the crime nor his failure, through fear, to prevent a crime establishes, […]


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