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Name: People v. Catley
Case #: G036876
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/09/2007

CALCRIM Jury Instruction 331 directing the jury not to decide an individual’s credibility solely on his cognitive impairment or developmental disability, but to consider it only as one factor in the determination of credibility is not a violation of the right to due process. Equating 331 to CALJIC 2.20.1 dealing with the testimony of a child witness, the court rejected appellant’s claim that 331 lessened the government’s burden by effectively instructing the jury to unduly inflate the testimony of the witness and determined that the same rationale for assessing the credibility of a child witness applies to that of a developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired witness. Here, appellant, the caretaker of an Alzheimer-stricken man, was convicted of theft as a result of her purchase of a vehicle with the victim’s funds. Appellant argued that the victim had signed the check and consented to the use of the funds. Although the victim’s signature was on the check, he testified he did not remember consenting to the use of his funds.