Login

Login

To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library

Add

Search

Login
Register

People v. Newton

Scott Caron

ProfessorScott Caron

CaseCast "What you need to know"

CaseCast –  "What you need to know"

play_circle_filled
pause_circle_filled
People v. Newton
volume_down
volume_up
volume_off

    Brief Fact Summary. Newton (D) was convicted of manslaughter for the murder of a police officer who was shot in a struggle with D. D testified that he was unconscious during the interval, however the trial judge failed to instruct the jury on the subject of unconsciousness as a defense to a charge of criminal homicide.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Prejudicial error exists where a judge refuses a requested jury instruction where evidence of involuntary unconsciousness has been produced in a homicide prosecution and would act as a complete defense if found to have existed.

    Facts. D was convicted of manslaughter for the murder of a police officer who was shot in a struggle with D. D testified that he was unconscious during the interval and at the trial evidence of involuntary unconsciousness resulting from a gunshot wound to D’s abdomen was produced. Despite this testimony and the instruction requested by D, the trial judge failed to instruct the jury on the subject of unconsciousness as a defense to a charge of criminal homicide. D asserts prejudicial error based on the judge’s refusal of the D’s requested instruction on the subject of unconsciousness.

    Issue. Did the trial court err in failing to instruct the jury on the subject of unconsciousness as a defense to a charge of criminal homicide?

    Held. Yes.
    The trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the subject of unconsciousness, as involuntary unconsciousness is a complete defense to a charge of criminal homicide and evidence of such involuntary confidence has been produced.


    Discussion. The rule of unconsciousness can apply where the subject physically acts but is not, at the time, conscious of the acting.


    Create New Group

      Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following