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Name: People v. Felix
Case #: B147530
Opinion Date: 10/04/2001
Division: 6
Citation: 92 Cal.App.4th 905

Appellant told a jail psychologist that he was thinking about killing his ex-girlfriend once he got out of jail. The psychologist, who had a duty to warn the victim, communicated the threats to her. Appellant was convicted of several offenses, including a violation of Penal Code section 422, making terrorist threats. The appellate court here reversed the conviction on that count. Section 422 requires that the threatening statement be made with the specific intent to be taken as a threat. It is not intended to punish emotional outbursts; it targets only those who try to instill fear in others. There was no evidence that appellant knew that the psychologist would communicate the threats, or that he intended for him to do so. The prosecution did not prove whether the words were a product of therapy, ranting soliloquies, or a crime, and therefore there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction.