The Chiu Doctrine Applies to Conspiracy Liability
July 12th, 2016
In Chiu the Supreme Court held an aider and abettor may not be convicted of first degree premeditated murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine. An aider and abettor’s liability for premeditated first degree murder must be based on direct aiding and abetting principles. See The Chiu Doctrine Explained
In re Lopez (2016) 246 CA4th 350 agreed with People v. Rivera (2015) 234 CA4th 1350, 1356 [Rivera] which held that the reasoning of Chiu applies equally to uncharged conspiracy liability:
The Chiu opinion did not directly address whether a coconspirator may be convicted of first degree premeditated murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine. In [Rivera], the Court of Appeal addressed that issue and concluded the reasoning of Chiu applied equally to uncharged conspiracy liability because “the operation of the natural and probable consequences doctrines is analogous” for aiding and abetting and uncharged conspiracy liability. The Court of Appeal explained: “This analogy appeared in Chiu itself, when the court was cataloguing examples of the natural and probable consequences doctrine as follows: ‘The natural and probable consequences doctrine was recognized at common law and is firmly entrenched in California law as a theory of criminal liability. [Citations.]’ Thus, when the California Supreme Court in Chiu was explaining the natural and probable consequences doctrine, it understood its applicability to both aiding and abetting and conspiracy theories.” [Citation.] The [Rivera] court held that the trial court erred by instructing the jury it could reach a verdict of first degree murder if it found the defendant conspired to commit the target crime and first degree murder was a natural and probable consequence of the target crime. [Citation.] We agree with the holding and analysis of [Rivera].
Tags: Accomplice Liability, Aider and Abettor, Appeal, Attempted Murder, CC 415, CC 416, CC 417, CC 521, CC 600, CC 601, Chiu Doctrine, Conspiracy, Premeditation and Deliberation, Standard of Prejudice