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People v. McCoy

California Supreme Court
25 Cal. 4th 1111, 108 Cal. Rptr. 2d 188, 24 P.3d 1210 (2001)


Ejaan Dupree McCoy and Derrick Lakey (defendants) were tried in the same first-degree murder trial. McCoy and Lakey were involved in a drive-by shooting, in which McCoy was the shooter. McCoy claimed he shot the victim in self-defense. The jury rejected the defense and found both McCoy and Lakey guilty of first-degree murder. Upon review the Court of Appeal stated that if the jury were properly instructed on the issue of imperfect self-defense, the jury would only have found McCoy guilty of voluntary manslaughter. The Court of Appeal therefore reversed McCoy’s conviction. It also reversed Lakey’s conviction, reasoning that Lakey, as an aider and abettor, could not be convicted of a more serious offense than McCoy.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Chin, J.)

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