People V. Honeycutt - Supreme Court Of California

People V. Honeycutt

By Supreme Court Of California

  • Release Date - Published: 1946-09-20
  • Book Genre: Law
  • Author: Supreme Court Of California
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People V. Honeycutt Supreme Court Of California read online review & book description:

Defendant was charged with the murder of Florence Honeycutt, his wife, and with two prior convictions of felony. He pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity and admitted the prior convictions. A jury found that he was guilty, made no recommendation as to penalty, and found that he was sane at the time the offense was committed. This is an automatic appeal from the judgment imposing the death penalty. (Pen. Code § 1239, subd. (b).) Defendant contends, and his contention is correct, that the instructions as to what constitutes murder of the first (as opposed to murder of the second) degree were erroneous in two particulars: First, in that the jury were told that "certain kinds of murder [by enumerated means and on enumerated occasions] . . . carry with them conclusive evidence of premeditation . . ."; and, second, in that the jury were told that "A man . . . can premeditate, that is, think before doing the act, the moment he conceives the purpose. . . ." The People contend that, in the circumstances of this case, such errors could not have prejudiced defendant. For the reasons hereinafter stated we agree with this contention of the People and have concluded that the judgment must be affirmed.

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