California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

726. Special Circumstances: Murder of Judge, Prosecutor, Government Official, or Juror, Pen. Code, §§ 190.2(a)(11), (12), (13) & (20)

Download PDF
726.Special Circumstances: Murder of Judge, Prosecutor,
Government Official, or Juror (Pen. Code, § 190.2(a)(11), (12), (13)
& (20))
The defendant is charged with the special circumstance of murder of a
(prosecutor/judge/government official/juror) [in violation of Penal Code
section 190.2(a)].
To prove that this special circumstance is true, the People must prove
1. The defendant intended to kill
2. was a (prosecutor/judge/
government official/juror in
description of local, state, or federal court of record in this or
another state>);
3. The defendant intended that
decedent> be killed (to prevent (him/her) from performing (his/
her) official duties as a (prosecutor/judge/government official/
juror)/ [or] in retaliation for ’s
decedent[s]> performance of (his/her) official duties as a
(prosecutor/judge/government official/juror)).
[(A/An) is an
(elected/appointed) government official.]
New January 2006
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on the elements of the special
circumstance. (See People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 635, 689 [66 Cal.Rptr.2d
573, 941 P.2d 752].)
The jury must determine whether the decedent is a prosecutor, judge, juror, or
government official. (People v. Brown (1988) 46 Cal.3d 432, 444–445 [250
Cal.Rptr. 604, 758 P.2d 1135].) The court may instruct the jury on the appropriate
definition of “government official” (e.g., “a Garden Grove Regular Police Officer
and a Garden Grove Reserve Police Officer are government officials”). (Ibid.)
However, the court may not instruct the jury that the decedent was a government
official as a matter of law (e.g., “Officer Reed was a government official”). (Ibid.)
• Special Circumstance: Prosecutor. Pen. Code, § 190.2(a)(11).
• Special Circumstance: Judge. Pen. Code, § 190.2(a)(12).
• Special Circumstance: Government Official. Pen. Code, § 190.2(a)(13).
• Special Circumstance: Juror. Pen. Code, § 190.2(a)(20).
Secondary Sources
3 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Punishment, § 458.
4Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 87, Death
Penalty, §§ 87.13[11], [12], [13], [20], 87.14 (Matthew Bender).