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Name: People v. Vela
Case #: F083161
Opinion Date: 03/29/2023
Attorney: Rebecca P. Jones

The Court of Appeal reversed the appellant’s murder conviction, agreeing with the parties that the optional paragraph in CALCRIM No. 571 (“[i]mperfect self-defense does not apply when the defendant, through his own wrongful conduct, has created circumstances that justify his adversary’s use of force”) was erroneously given to the jury. The factual circumstances of the case did not support the paragraph because the victim’s use of force was not legally justified. The error was not harmless under either Watson or Chapman. Given that none of the appellant’s remaining contentions would preclude retrial of the murder conviction, the court found them moot and declined to consider them.