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Name: People v. Douangpanya
Case #: C061501
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/11/2010

Advising the jury that the definition of “moral turpitude” is a “readiness to do evil” is not contrary to law. At the motions in limine, the court granted counsel’s request to sanitize the prior to be used for impeachment. During appellant’s testimony, he was asked if he suffered a felony conviction for a crime of moral turpitude. During deliberations, the jury asked for a definition of that term, and over defense objection, the court answered it was “a crime that reflects a readiness to do evil.” The appellate court rejected appellant’s argument that it should have been defined as reflecting dishonesty. The trial court correctly stated the law because that is how the California Supreme Court defined the term in People v. Castro (1985) 38 Cal.3d 301, 315. And contrary to appellant’s argument, the answer did not prejudice the jury into thinking he was evil because it was instructed with CALCRIM Nos. 226 (judging witness credibility) and 316 (limiting instruction on priors).