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People v. Roberts

Supreme Court of California
826 P.2d 274 (Cal. 1992)


Roberts (defendant), a prisoner, was charged with the murder of Charles Gardner, a fellow inmate, and Albert Patch, a prison guard. Gardner was walking down a prison hallway surround by a number of other prisoners when he was stabbed. After he was stabbed, but before he died, Gardner picked up the knife, chased after his assailant and during a resulting struggle stabbed Patch to death. At trial, the jury instructions on Patch’s murder count included the following: “It is immaterial that the defendant could not reasonably have foreseen [the murder of Patch resulting from his stabbing of Gardner].” The jury found Roberts guilty of the murder of not only Gardner, but also Patch. Roberts appealed, arguing that the jury instruction on the Patch murder improperly removed reasonable foreseeability from the jury’s consideration.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)

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