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People v. Swain

Supreme Court of California
12 Cal.4th 593, 909 P.2d 994 (1996)



Jamal K. Swain and David Chatman (defendants) participated in a drive-by shooting that resulted in the death of a 15-year-old boy. At trial, the court instructed the jury on the theories of express and implied-malice murder. The jury returned general verdicts convicting Chatman of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, and convicting Swain of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Swain and Chatman appealed their convictions, and the People appealed the sentences imposed by the trial court. The appeals court affirmed the convictions and the sentences. The California Supreme Court granted the parties' petitions for review. Among other things, the court considered the question of whether the trial court improperly instructed the jury on the principles of implied-malice murder in connection with the conspiracy charge, because implied malice does not require a finding of intent to kill.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Baxter, J.)

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