Sunday, November 17, 2013

People v. Borchers case brief

People v. Borchers case brief summary
 325 P.2d 97 (1958)

The state sought review of the decision of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which reduced defendant's conviction from second degree murder to voluntary manslaughter instead of granting defendant's motion for a new trial on the issue of sanity.


  • The state argued that the evidence was sufficient to have justified the implied finding of malice aforethought, the evidence did not show that defendant was guilty of voluntary manslaughter, and the trial court erred in reducing the class of crime found by the jury. 
  • The court disagreed and affirmed the judgment. 
  • The court held that from the evidence viewed as a whole, the trial court was amply justified when it concluded that defendant did not possess the state of mind known as malice aforethought which was an essential element of murder under Cal. Penal Code § 197. 
  • The court determined that it may fairly have been concluded that the evidence on the issue of guilt supported a finding that defendant killed the victim in wild desperation and therefore the requisite intent for second degree murder was not present.

The court affirmed the trial court's reduction of defendant's conviction from second degree murder to voluntary manslaughter.

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