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Name: People v. Genovese
Case #: C055486
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/24/2008

The standard series of CALCRIM homicide instructions are not deficient in the way they explain voluntary manslaughter. In this murder appeal, appellant argued the standard CALCRIM homicide instructions are deficient because the jury is not told (1) imperfect self defense of another eliminates malice, and (2) that a defendant can be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter upon a finding that, while acting in imperfect self defense of another, he killed either intentionally or unintentionally with conscious disregard for human life. It is of no consequence that the instructions fail to tell the jurors the role that absence of malice plays in reducing murder to voluntary manslaughter because the instructions as a whole tell them what acts would reduce the crime from murder to voluntary manslaughter, and the precise definition of malice does assist them in the task. It also makes no difference that the instructions do not expressly say that intent to kill or conscious disregard for human life is an essential element of voluntary manslaughter because the instructions do state that a killing that would otherwise be murder is reduced to voluntary manslaughter if the defendant acts in imperfect defense of another or sudden quarrel or heat of passion.