How has the Attorney General argued in closing arguments that the defense of others was adequately explained to the jury?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Wachter, G040314 (Cal. App. 12/18/2009), G040314. (Cal. App. 2009):

That leads us to the Attorney General's next argument, which is that the parties' closing arguments sufficiently apprised the jury of the defense of others. It turns out the prosecutor only mentioned the concept once, while discussing the requirement that the killing be unlawful. He said, "The reason this element is here is, if there is a right to self-defense, or if there is a right to defense of others, then it is a lawful killing." This brief reference to the defense of others can hardly be said to compensate for full and proper instructions on the issue. And while appellants' counsel discussed the defense in more detail and argued for its application in this case, in the end, there was no instructional vehicle for the jurors to apply the defense to appellants. "Permitting a defendant to offer a defense is of little value if the jury is not informed that the defense, if it is believed or if it helps create a reasonable doubt in the jury's mind, will entitle the defendant to a judgment of acquittal." (United States v. Escobar de Bright (9th Cir. 1984) 742 F.2d 1196, 1201-1202.) Thus, it cannot be said that counsels' arguments remedied the instructional error that occurred in this case.

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