What is the standard of proof in a first degree felony murder case?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Jurado, 115 Cal.App.3d 470, 171 Cal.Rptr. 509 (Cal. App. 1981):

It is settled that, in a first degree felony murder case, the defendant is entitled, upon request, to a specific instruction directing attention to the necessity of proving the underlying felony beyond a reasonable doubt. (See People v. Sears (1970) 2 Cal.3d 180, 190, 84 Cal.Rptr. 711, 465 P.2d 847; People v. Whitehorn (1963) 60 Cal.2d 256, 264, 32 Cal.Rptr. 199, 383 P.2d 783.) Although defense counsel did ask the court to read CALJIC No. 8.32, this instruction related to second degree felony murder; there was no specific request that the court below proffer an additional instruction on the standard of proof relating to an underlying felony in this case, which involved first degree murder. 21 Even if the request to give CALJIC No. 8.32 is assumed tantamount to a request for the desired instruction (CALJIC No. 8.21), its omission was harmless. The court did give general reasonable-doubt instructions and felony-murder admonitions. Furthermore, very favorable instructions on aiding and abetting were given by the court. Since these other instructions adequately informed the jurors of the pertinent law, no [115 Cal.App.3d 494] prejudice was suffered by appellant. (Cf. People v. Whitehorn, supra, 60 Cal.2d at p. 265, 32 Cal.Rptr. 199, 383 P.2d 783.)

In summary, appellant's contention about first-degree-felony-murder instructions is flawed, since he never requested the specific

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