May 31, 2013

Two voluntary-manslaughter opinions filing Monday

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court will file its opinions in two cases raising issues about the scope and definition of voluntary manslaughter.

In People v. Beltran, the court will decide: (1) Was the jury misinstructed with former CALCRIM No. 570 on provocation and heat of passion as a basis for a conviction of voluntary manslaughter? (2) Did the prosecutor misstate the applicable law on the subject in argument? (3) Did the trial court accurately respond to a jury question on the subject? (4) If there was error, was defendant prejudiced?

People v. Bryant raises the issue whether voluntary manslaughter can be premised on a killing without malice that occurs during commission of an inherently dangerous assaultive felony.

Both cases were argued in March and the opinions will be filed at the very end of the 90-day-from-argument period.

The opinions can be viewed online Monday beginning at 10:00 a.m.

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