Can a defendant impeach his testimony that he stabbed the victim in self defense?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Robertson, A141587 (Cal. App. 2016):

Specifically, defendant testified at length about the victim's allegedly threatening behavior towards him, which, he claimed, let him to believe it was necessary to stab the victim in self defense. In addition, defendant offered evidence of the victim's own prior bad acts, including the victim's conviction in New York for making "terroristic threats" and his verbal altercation with his girlfriend just an hour before the stabbing that required police intervention. Under these circumstances, the trial court could have reasonably found that the evidence of defendant's prior uncharged acts (to wit, pimping and domestic violence) was relevant to impeach his testimony that he innocently followed the victim into the alleyway in the hopes of resolving whatever problems had arisen between them, and only resorted to violence when he believed it was necessary to protect his own life, and that such evidence would not be unduly prejudicial. (See People v. Karis (1988) 46 Cal.3d 612, 638 [" 'The "prejudice" referred to in Evidence Code section 352 applies to evidence which uniquely tends to evoke an emotional bias against the defendant as an individual and which has very little effect on the issues. In applying section 352, "prejudicial" is not synonymous with "damaging" ' "].) As stated in a well-known legal treatise: "Past criminal conduct involving moral turpitude that has some logical bearing on the veracity of a witness in a criminal proceeding is admissible to impeach the

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