Sunday, November 17, 2013

People v. Perez case brief

People v. Perez case brief summary
831 P.2d 1159 (1992)


CASE SYNOPSIS
The state sought review of a judgment of the Court of Appeal (California) which reduced defendant's first degree murder conviction to second degree murder for insufficient evidence of premeditation and deliberation.

CASE FACTS
After a trial, the jury convicted defendant of first degree, premeditated and deliberate murder. Defendant sought review of his conviction, and a divided appellate court reduced his conviction from first to second degree murder.

DISCUSSION

  • Upon review, the court reversed, finding that an appellate court had to review the entire record in the light most favorable to the judgment to determine if a reasonable trier of fact could find a defendant had deliberated and premeditated beyond a reasonable doubt. 
  • The court found there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the jury's finding of premeditation and deliberation beyond a reasonable doubt because defendant obtained a knife from the kitchen, the victim was acquainted with defendant and could identify him, and defendant went searching for another knife after he broke the first one. 
  • The court found that the evidence did not give rise to instruct sua sponte on the provocation that would reduce first degree murder to second degree murder because there was no evidence of provocation in the record.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the judgment that reduced defendant's conviction from first degree murder to second degree murder, finding that there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the jury's findings of premeditated and deliberate murder beyond a reasonable doubt based on how the victim was killed, planning activity, and motive.

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