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Name: People v. Najera
Case #: D046044
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/24/2006
Subsequent History: Review granted 4/26/06: S141654

Appellant was convicted of vehicle theft and possession of burglary tools. On appeal, he argued that the trial court erred by failing to instruct sua sponte CALJIC 2.15, which states that the possession of recently stolen property is alone insufficient to support a theft conviction. The appellate disagreed and affirmed. Departing from the opinion in People v. Clark (1953) 122 Cal.App. 2d 342, the appellate court held that CALJIC 2.15 is not the type of instruction which must be given sua sponte in all theft-related cases. The purpose of the instruction is to inform the jury on a matter which is actually common sense, and it could interfere with defense strategies.