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People v. Anderson

California Supreme Court
447 P.2d 942 (1968)


Robert Anderson (defendant) lived with Mrs. Hammond and her three children, Cynthia, Kenneth, and 10-year-old Victoria. One day, Victoria was at home alone with Anderson, who had been drinking heavily, while Mrs. Hammond was at work. When Mrs. Hammond and Kenneth returned home separately later in the day, they both noticed blood around the house, and Anderson gave them conflicting explanations for the blood. Mrs. Hammond and Kenneth became suspicious about Victoria’s apparent absence, and soon found her nude, mutilated body in her bedroom. When the police arrived, they found that the front door had been locked and shades drawn, bloodstains throughout the house showing that Victoria had been pursued and wounded in multiple rooms, including on the master bed, a bloody knife, Victoria’s shredded and bloody clothing, and Anderson’s bloody shorts and socks. Victoria had suffered dozens of wound, including wounds that were sexual in nature, but no sperm was found on her body or clothing. Anderson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The death penalty was overturned because of a procedural error, and there was an automatic appeal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Tobriner, J.)

Dissent (Burke, J.)

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