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Name: People v. Madrigal (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 219
Case #: H046577
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/06/2023

Retroactive application of Senate Bill No. 1437 entitled defendant to reversal of first degree murder conviction, where the jury was not instructed on the new elements of felony-murder. Madrigal was among a group of four or five men who got out of a van and attacked and robbed a man on a sidewalk. One of the attackers stabbed the victim, who died soon after. The court instructed the jury on three theories of first degree murder, including felony murder in the commission of a robbery. The prosecutor conceded in closing there was no reliable evidence of who stabbed the victim.…

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Name: In re Ferrell (2023) 14 Cal.5th 593
Case #: S265798
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 04/06/2023

The jury’s true finding on a firearm enhancement (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subd. (d)) did not render Chun error harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Ferrell was convicted of the second degree murder of his fellow-gang member who was killed when Ferrell fired two shots at the end of a gang fight. The jury also found that Ferrell intentionally discharged a firearm and caused death in committing his offense (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subd. (d)). At trial, the prosecutor’s presented three theories for murder: express malice, implied malice, or felony murder based on the willful discharge of a firearm in a…

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Name: People v. Guiffreda
Case #: D079834
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/03/2023

Petitioner’s murder sentence must be vacated under Penal Code section 1172.6 where substantial evidence did not support a finding that she acted with reckless indifference to human life. In 2003, 19-year-old Guiffreda and codefendants Peace and Oie (Guiffreda’s husband) noted M.B. was walking around a motel with a bank envelope sticking out of his back pocket. The three planned for Guiffreda to get M.B. into a hotel room to have sex, and then Oie and Peace were going to come in, assault M.B., and take the money. After Guiffreda went with M.B. into his room, Oie and Peace stole a…

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Name: People v. Bradley
Case #: A159105
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/24/2021

The evidence of reckless indifference to human life supported defendants' convictions for felony murder. Defendants participated in an attempted robbery, during which one of the victims was killed. During their initial trial, Senate Bill No. 1437 was passed, which amended the felony murder rule and the natural and probable consequences doctrine, as it relates to murder. It amended Penal Code section 189 to provide that a defendant who was not the actual killer and lacked an intent to kill is not liable for felony murder unless he was a major participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference…

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