Skip to content
Name: People v. Jefferson
Case #: C041274
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/15/2004

Evidence of a defendant’s insanity is not admissible in the guilt phase of his trial for the purpose of altering the reasonable person standard for self-defense. After bifurcating the sanity and guilt phases of defendant’s trial, the trial court refused to admit evidence regarding defendant’s mental state during the guilt phase. Defendant argued that the evidence was relevant to his self-defense claim, because in this case a reasonable person would be one who shared defendant’s mental illness. Under People v. Humphrey (1996) 13 Cal.4th 1073, the jury was to determine whether a person of ordinary and normal mental and physical capacity would have believed he was in imminent danger of bodily injury under the known circumstances. Evidence of defendant’s mental illness was not relevant to that determination.