Murder conviction and death sentence affirmed
People v. Russell, S075875, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for the murders of two county sheriff's deputies and a sentence of death.
The court affirmed both the conviction and the sentence over claims of: 1) alleged instructional error on lying in wait as theory of murder; 2) allegedly erroneous denial of guilt and penalty phase motions to have jury view scene of shooting; 3) allegedly erroneous interference with jury's deliberations and improper coercion of guilt verdicts; 4) alleged instructional error on consciousness of guilt consistent with CALJIC No. 2.03; 5) alleged instructional error that jury need not agree whether defendant committed a premeditated murder or lying-in-wait murder; 6) allegedly erroneous denial of defendant's motion to admit his recorded statements to police; 7) allegedly erroneous excusal of prospective jurors; 8) allegedly improper introduction of victim impact evidence and alleged instructional error regarding use of victim impact evidence; 9) alleged instructional error regarding uncharged acts as aggravating factors; 10) alleged instructional error regarding lack of prior felony convictions; 11) alleged instructional error regarding double-counting special circumstances as aggravating factors; 12) alleged instructional error regarding jury's consideration of circumstances of crime as aggravating evidence under section 190.3(b); 13) penalty phase instructional challenges; 14) alleged instructional error regarding scope of jury's sentencing discretion and nature of deliberative process; 14) alleged instructional error regarding section 190.3; 15) lack of intercase proportionality review; 15) cumulative error; and 16) alleged violation of international law, and of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
- Read the California Supreme Court's Full Decision in People v. Russell, S075875