California Court of Appeal

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People v. Ramirez, G049935

In this case, defendants provoked a fight and now claim self-defense. Conviction of defendants for first degree murder, among other charges, and imposition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (plus a term of 25-to-life for firearm use) is reversed, where: 1) the trial court erroneously prevented the jury from considering defendants' self-defense claim by instructing the jury categorically that "a person does not have the right to self-defense if he provokes a fight with the intent to create an excuse to use force"; and 2) the instruction misstates the law, as a person who contrives to start a fight does not thereby forfeit his right to live and may defend himself even when he has set in motion the chain of events leading the victim to attack.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 01/28/2015
  • Published 01/28/2015

Judges

  • Aronson

Court

  • California Court of Appeal

Counsel