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Name: People v. Quach
Case #: G027470
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/27/2004
Summary

Although the trial court failed to instruct the jury with CALJIC 2.71 or 2.71.7, which would have informed the jury that admissions of a defendant are to be viewed with caution, it was not reasonably probable that a more favorable result would have ensued had such an instruction been given. Appellant’s oral admissions were concerning his gang membership. However, the jury not only heard appellant’s admissions, but also the testimony of two police officers who confirmed appellant’s gang membership. The inclusion of CALJIC 2.71 or 2.71.7 would not have made a difference. However, the failure to instruct the jury with regard to CALJIC 5.56, which affords the right of self-defense to a mutual combatant if he has stopped fighting and given his opponent the opportunity to stop, was prejudicial error requiring reversal. The jury could easily have concluded that this was a mutual combat situation, given Quach’s testimony, and there was no instruction given which told them the test to apply. The error is not reversible per se as a failure to instruct on a defense, but the Chapman standard applies.