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Name: People v. Fish
Case #: A168087, A168088
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/05/2024
Summary

The Court of Appeal holds that the trial court’s failure to expressly instruct the jury that the unanimity instruction applied to the lesser included offense—and not just the charged offense—was harmless error under Chapman. The record did not provide a rational basis for the jury to have distinguished between the two acts offered in support of the lesser included offense. The court emphasizes that trial courts should expressly instruct the jury that the unanimity requirement applies both to the charged offense and any lesser included offenses when a guilty finding may rest on more than one act.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here:  https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A168087.PDF