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Name: People v. Felix
Case #: B193558
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/04/2008

The jury was properly instructed with CALCRIM instructions. Appellant challenged numerous CALCRIM instructions that were provided to the jury during his murder trial. The appellate court found no instructional error. Despite the failure to raise the challenges in the trial court, the appellate court decided them on the merits to determine whether there was an impairment of substantial rights or ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to object. Regarding the challenge to CALCRIM No. 315, that it improperly limited the factors the jury could consider in evaluating eyewitness testimony, the court concluded that the instruction did not allow the jury to disregard factors not listed in the instruction. Likewise, CALCRIM No. 318 did not improperly encourage the jury to ignore or neglect evidence presented at trial and provided proper guidance about how the jury could use witness testimony. CALCRIM No. 332 did not advise the jury to determine the truth or accuracy of matters not presented at trial. The court rejected appellant’s argument that CALCRIM No. 700 was improper because it does not explain the nature of the agreement the jury had to reach regarding whether the prosecution proved the special allegations to be true. The instruction, when viewed together with CALCRIM Nos. 220 and 3550 informed that the jury that it could not find a special allegation true unless every juror agreed it had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. CALCRIM No. 704 properly instructed the jury on the threshold inquiry regarding the use of circumstantial evidence to establish special allegations. CALCRIM No. 706 did not improperly bar the jury from considering whether an accomplice’s credibility was impaired by a plea bargain. The court also rejected challenges to CALCRIM Nos. 729 and 736, 3146, and 3515.