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Murder--SB 1437's Application to Second Degree Murder Under NPC, Retroactivity and Instructional Error

(1) Does the amendment to Penal Code section 188 by recently enacted Senate Bill No. 1437 eliminate second degree murder liability under the natural and probable consequences doctrine? (2) Does Senate Bill No. 1437 apply retroactively to cases not yet final on appeal? (3) Was it prejudicial error to instruct the jury in this case on natural and probable consequences as a theory of murder? (People v. Gentile (2019) 25 Cal.App.5th 932, review granted 9/11/2019 (S256698/E069088).) The court also depublished this opinion.

On 10/30/2019, the court limited the issues to be briefed and argued to the following: 1. Does the amendment to Penal Code section 188 by recently enacted Senate Bill No. 1437 eliminate second degree murder liability under the natural and probable consequences doctrine? 2. Was it prejudicial error to instruct the jury in this case on natural and probable consequences as a theory of murder?

On 10/8/2020, the court directed the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing the following issue: Does Senate Bill No. 1437 apply retroactively to cases not yet final on appeal?

Review on this issue has also been granted with briefing deferred in:

  • People v. Omega (June 21, 2019, C085437) [nonpub. opn.], review granted 9/25/2019 (S257165)
  • People v. Barrera (July 12, 2019, C085232) [nonpub. opn.], review granted 10/23/2019 (S257431)
  • People v. Larios (2019) 42 Cal.App.5th 956, review granted 2/26/2020 (S259983/F078759)
  • People v. Garcia (Dec. 18, 2019, C066714, C066716) [nonpub. opn.], review granted 4/1/2020 (S260237)

Updated: 10/8/2020

Return to: California Supreme Court Pending Issues.

 

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