Thursday, January 27, 2011

Even bad video can help tell your story

From People v Flores (B220564) - Unpublished
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Five
Filed January 26, 2011

"The gas station's video footage of the crime was admitted into evidence. The quality of the video was not such that the individuals could be identified. The video did, however, indicate that shortly before the first shot was fired, one of the African-American onlookers lifted his arm and pointed at something. The victim's friend, Burnett, identified himself as "the pointer" in the video, and testified that he was pointing at appellant in response to seeing appellant's gun. The defense sought to establish that the shooter fired the gun in response to being threatened; that is to say, appellant wished to argue (without admitting that he was present at the crime scene) that he and his two companions were greatly outnumbered by the dozen or so youths who were following the group to the back of the gas station; that he assumed that his adversaries were gang members, and that gang members typically carry weapons; so that when he saw one of his adversaries lift his arm and point at him, he believed that his life was in danger. Appellant sought, but was refused, instructions on voluntary manslaughter based on imperfect self-defense and a sudden quarrel or heat of passion."

There is some rather interesting arguments being made for the retention of the hate crime enhancement for this brown on black gang crime. This case is a useful read if only for the citations used in support of the gang and hate crime enhancements.

Read the entire opinion here.

Enjoy.

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