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Name: People v. Morse
Case #: A101894
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/05/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 6/9/04

Police officers found a Molotov cocktail in the trunk of appellant’s car, during a stop and search. Appellant admitted he had made the device, and had intended to use it to torch his own car. He was convicted of possessing an incendiary device in violation of Penal Code section 453, subdivision (a). On appeal, he contended that he could not be convicted under section 453 for possessing an incendiary device with the intent to torch his his own property. The appellate court here rejected the argument, finding that section 453 does not require an intent to affect the property of another. The Legislature’s concern in enacting the statute was not to punish arson attempts, but to deter the dangerous act of possessing an incendiary device.