CALCRIM No. 726. Special Circumstances: Murder of Judge, Prosecutor, Government Official, or Juror (Pen. Code, § 190.2(a)(11), (12), (13) & (20))

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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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 <insert name of
2. <insert name of decedent> was a (prosecutor/judge/
government official/juror in <insert name or
description of local, state, or federal court of record in this or
another state>);
3. The defendant intended that <insert name of
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 <insert name[s] of
decedent[s]> performance of (his/her) official duties as a
(prosecutor/judge/government official/juror)).
[(A/An) <insert title of government offıcial’s position> 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).
3 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Punishment, § 541.
4 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 87, Death
Penalty, §§ 87.13[11], [12], [13], [20], 87.14 (Matthew Bender).

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