People v. Hicks

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During a retrial of a second degree murder charge, after a previous jury failed to reach a verdict on that charge but convicted defendant of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, the trial court erred if it informed the new jury of such specific convictions that resulted from the previous jury's deliberations. However, the trial court does not err if, pursuant to Penal Code sections 1093 and 1127, it instructs the retrial jury along the following lines: "Sometimes cases are tried in segments. The only question in this segment of the proceedings is whether the prosecution has proved the charge of murder. In deciding this question, you must not let the issue of punishment enter into your deliberations. Nor are you to speculate about whether the defendant may have been, or may be, held criminally responsible for his conduct in some other segment of the proceedings." In this case, the defense requested a specific instruction informing the jury of defendant's gross vehicular manslaughter conviction, and the trial court refused such an instruction. However, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment because defendant was not prejudiced by this error where the evidence was overwhelming. View "People v. Hicks" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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