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Name: People v. Thomas
Case #: C052849
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/22/2007

CALCRIM 3450 informs the jury that the burden is on the defendant to prove he was insane at the time of the crime but does not direct a finding of sanity if the jury finds that defendant was legally sane at times and at other times legally insane. Appellant argued that the following portion of the instruction effectively directed a finding of sanity because almost all mentally ill persons have moments of lucidity: “If you conclude that at times the defendant was legally sane and other times the defendant was insane, you must assume that he was legally sane when he committed the crime.” Agreeing that this portion of the instruction, when viewed in isolation, could be misleading, the court, nevertheless, found that when the instruction was viewed as a whole, a reasonable juror would not be misled. (People v. Burgener (1986) 41 Cal.3d 505, 538-539 [correctness of jury instruction to be determined from the entire charge of the court].)