3428. Mental Impairment: Defense to Specific Intent or Mental State
You have heard evidence that the defendant may have suffered from a mental (disease[,]/ [or] defect[,]/ [or] disorder). You may consider this evidence only for the limited purpose of deciding whether, at the time of the charged crime, the defendant acted [or failed to act] with the intent or mental state mental state required for that crime.
The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted [or failed to act] with the required intent or mental state, specifically: <insert specific intent or mental state required, e.g., "malice aforethought," "the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his or her property," or "knowledge that . . .">. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of <insert name of alleged offense>.
<Repeat this paragraph for each offense requiring specific intent or a specific mental state.>
[Do not consider evidence of mental (disease[,]/ [or] defect[,]/ [or] disorder) when deciding if <insert name of nontarget offense> was a natural and probable consequence of <insert name of target offense>.]
The court has no sua sponte duty to instruct on mental impairment as a defense to specific intent or mental state; however, the trial court must give this instruction on request. (People v. Saille (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1103, 1119 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 364, 820 P.2d 588].) The jury may consider evidence of mental impairment and its effect on the defendant's ability to form any mental state required for the offense charged. (Pen. Code, § 28; People v. Reyes (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 975, 983-985 [61 Cal.Rptr.2d 39] [relevant to knowledge element in receiving stolen property]; People v. Mendoza (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1114, 1131-1134 [77 Cal.Rptr.2d 428, 959 P.2d 735] [voluntary intoxication relevant to mental state in aiding and abetting].)
Evidence of mental impairment may not be considered for general-intent crimes, unless there is an element, such as knowledge, that requires a specific mental state. (People v. Reyes, supra, 52 Cal.App.4th at pp. 983- 985; People v. Mendoza, supra, 18 Cal.4th at pp. 1131-1134 [aiding and abetting].)
In all cases, the court must insert the specific intent or mental state required and the offense for which the mental state is an element. (See People v. Hill (1967) 67 Cal.2d 105, 118 [60 Cal.Rptr. 234, 429 P.2d 586].)
Give the bracketed paragraph that begins with "You must not consider evidence of mental" when instructing on aiding and abetting liability for a nontarget offense. (People v. Mendoza, supra, 18 Cal.4th at p. 1134.)
Statutory Authority. Pen. Code, § 28; see also Pen. Code, §§ 25, 29.
Instructional Requirements. People v. Saille (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1103, 1119 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 364, 820 P.2d 588].
Mental States—Knowledge. People v. Reyes (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 975, 983-985 [61 Cal.Rptr.2d 39].
Mental States—Aiding and Abetting. People v. Mendoza (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1114, 1131-1134 [60 Cal.Rptr. 234, 429 P.2d 586].
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Defenses, § 10.
3 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 73, Defenses and Justifications, § 73.03 (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 124, Jurisdiction and Disposition Hearings, § 124.04 (Matthew Bender).
Scope of Expert Testimony
Penal Code section 29 provides that an expert testifying about a defendant's mental illness "shall not testify as to whether the defendant had or did not have the required mental states." (Pen. Code, § 29.) In People
v. Coddington (2000) 23 Cal.4th 529, 582-583 [97 Cal.Rptr.2d 528, 2 P.3d 1081], disapproved on other grounds in Price v. Superior Court (2001) 25 Cal.4th 1046, 1069, fn. 13 [108 Cal.Rptr.2d 409, 25 P.3d 618], the Supreme Court held that the trial court improperly restricted the scope of the expert testimony when the court refused to permit "hypothetical questions regarding the effect of mental defect or illness on a person's ability to deliberate or premeditate." (Id. at p. 582.) "An expert's opinion that a form of mental illness can lead to impulsive behavior is relevant to the existence vel non of the mental states of premeditation and deliberation regardless of whether the expert believed appellant actually harbored those mental states at the time of the killing." (Id. at pp. 582-583 [italics original]; see also People v. Nunn (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1357, 1364-1365 [58 Cal.Rptr.2d 294] [discussing appropriate scope of expert testimony].)
(New January 2006)