Witness Credibility Factors: Sua Sponte Duty to Delete Inapplicable Factors
April 13th, 2015


The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction on factors relevant to a witness’s credibility. However, not all of the factors will apply in each case. Therefore, the court should strike those factors inapplicable in a case. Failure to do so may cause jurors to speculate about what evidence was not presented regarding the credibility of a witness. CC 225 repeats this “Witness” instruction for the Post-Trial instructions. CC 226 has been upheld, (People v. Lawrence (2009) 177 Cal. App. 4th 547; People v. Warner (2008) 166 Cal. App. 4th 653; People v. Anderson (2007) 152 Cal. App. 4th 919, 934) and requests to modify it have been denied. (People v. Chue Vang (2009) 171 Cal. App. 4th 1120.)


So long as the provisions of this instruction are given, the court is not required to give a specific cautionary instruction directing the jury to view the testimony of an immunized witness with distrust. (People v. Vines (2011) 51 Cal. 4th 830, 888-884.)

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