CA 571. Voluntary Manslaughter: Imperfect Self-Defense – Lesser Included Offense

CA 571. Voluntary Manslaughter: Imperfect Self-Defense – Lesser Included Offense

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California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM)
SERIES 500. Homicide
B. Justifications and Excuses
CA No. 571. Voluntary Manslaughter: Imperfect Self-Defense – Lesser Included Offense

A killing that would otherwise be murder is reduced to voluntary manslaughter if the defendant killed a person because (he/she) acted in (imperfect self-defense/ [or] imperfect defense of another).

If you conclude the defendant acted in complete (self-defense/ [or] defense of another), (his/her) action was lawful and you must find (him/her) not guilty of any crime. The difference between complete (self-defense/ [or] defense of another) and (imperfect self-defense/ [or] imperfect defense of another) depends on whether the defendant’s belief in the need to use deadly force was reasonable.

The defendant acted in (imperfect self-defense/ [or] imperfect defense of another) if:

1. The defendant actually believed that (he/she/ [or] someone else/ ) was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury;

AND

2. The defendant actually believed that the immediate use of deadly force was necessary to defend against the danger;

BUT

3. At least one of those beliefs was unreasonable.

Belief in future harm is not sufficient, no matter how great or how likely the harm is believed to be.

In evaluating the defendant’s beliefs, consider all the circumstances as they were known and appeared to the defendant.

[If you find that threatened or harmed the defendant [or others] in the past, you may consider that information in evaluating the defendant’s beliefs.]

[If you find that the defendant knew that had threatened or harmed others in the past, you may consider that information in evaluating the defendant’s beliefs.]
[If you find that the defendant received a threat from someone else that (he/she) reasonably associated with, you may consider that threat in evaluating the defendant’s beliefs.]

[Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.]

The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not acting in (imperfect self-defense/ [or] imperfect defense of another). If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of murder.

By | 2015-10-22T14:29:11+00:00 October 22nd, 2015|Comments Off on CA 571. Voluntary Manslaughter: Imperfect Self-Defense – Lesser Included Offense