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Name: People v. Timms
Case #: A113889
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/11/2007
Summary

The trial court did not err when it instructed the jury pursuant to Penal Code section 22. At appellant’s trial for voluntary manslaughter, the trial court instructed the jury pursuant to CALCRIM No. 625 that they could consider evidence of appellant’s voluntary intoxication only to determine whether he acted with an intent to kill, and not for any other purpose. The instruction was true to Penal Code section 22. On appeal, appellant argued that the application of section 22 to his case through that instruction violated his right to due process because the effect was to exclude relevant evidence on the issue of whether he harbored a conscious disregard for life. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Voluntary intoxication is irrelevant to proof of the mental state of implied malice or conscious disregard, and does not lessen the prosecution’s burden of proof or prevent a defendant from presenting all relevant defense evidence. Nor does section 22 violate equal protection principles.