Threatening A Public Official: Intent To Carry Out the Threat
December 1st, 2014


People v. Barrios (2008) 163 Cal. App. 4th 270, upheld this instruction, rejecting an argument that improperly stated the law. The defendant argued that CC 2650 was incorrect because “it tells the jury that the defendant need not have the intent to carry out the threat, only the intent that the statement be taken as a threat. He argued that the language of PC 76(c)(5). . .required an intent to carry out the threat in order to convict under the statute. According to defendant, the language ‘made with the intent. . .to carry out the threat’ requires the People to prove not only that he intended his comments and conduct in the holding cell to be taken as a threat, but also that he intended to carry out the threat.” (Id. at 275-76.)


The Court of Appeal held, however, that PC 76 required only one intent: as stated by CC 2650, the intent that the defendant’s statement be taken as a threat. “It is unreasonable to posit the need to prove an actual intent to execute the threat when the ability to do so can be attenuated by months, even years, before the release of the incarcerated threatener.” (Id. at 277.)

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