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Name: People v. Lawrence
Case #: F055219
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/08/2009
Summary

CALCRIM Nos. 105 and 226 (believability of witness) and 600 (mental state and act of attempted murder) correctly state the law. Appellant was convicted of numerous offenses stemming from an incident where he argued and fought with the victim and, after the victim ran into his apartment, fired a sawed-off shotgun into the apartment, injuring the victim. At trial a witness, who was granted immunity, testified against appellant. The appellate court rejected appellant’s arguments that CALCRIM Nos. 105 and 226 failed to adequately convey to the jury that it should disbelieve a witness’ testimony that is willfully false in a material part unless parts of the witness’ testimony appear to be true. The purpose of these instructions is to provide a common sense principle for evaluating witness credibility and there is no presumption, burden, or legal policy the proponent of the witness must overcome before the testimony can be accepted. As to No. 600, the instruction as a whole makes it clear that in order to find an attempt, the jury must find two distinct elements: an act and intent. Further, there is no substantive difference between CALCRIM No. 600 and CALJIC No. 8.66, the language of which was approved by the California Supreme Court in People v. Dillon (1983) 34 Cal.3d 441.