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People v. Gory

Supreme Court of California
170 P.2d 433 (1946)


Morris Gory (defendant), a prisoner at the Los Angeles County Honor Farm, shared living quarters with approximately 30 other inmates in an open bunkhouse. A small metal box was assigned to each inmate for the purpose of storing toiletries and personal effects. During an inspection check, a guard found loose marijuana inside of Gory’s box which was located at the foot of his bed. Gory denied that the substance was his and no marijuana was found on his person. Gory was charged with “willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously” being in possession of marijuana. At the close of the evidence, the trial judge provided the jury with two instructions that were subsequently withdrawn by the court. The first instruction (#12) required the jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Gory “knowingly” had the marijuana in his possession, namely that he exercised dominion and control over the substance. The second instruction (#13) required the jury to find that Gory had a “guilty knowledge” of the nature and character of the substance in his possession and possessed a “guilty intent.” Gory was convicted. Gory’s motion for a new trial was denied. Gory appealed.

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