Does the doctrine of implied malice or the felony-murder rule apply to a conviction of attempted murder?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from People v. Patterson, 209 Cal.App.3d 610, 257 Cal.Rptr. 407 (Cal. App. 1989):

The court held, as have we, the instructions on attempted murder erroneously suggested the doctrine of implied malice or the felony-murder rule [209 Cal.App.3d 616] could serve as a basis for a conviction of attempted murder. (People v. Hammond, supra, 181 Cal.App.3d at p. 468, fn. 5, 226 Cal.Rptr. 475.) However, the court further held Hammond was not prejudiced by this instruction because he was tried and convicted on a theory of aiding and abetting, and "[u]nder such theory of vicarious liability, the jury was not required to find that he possessed the specific intent to kill." (Id. at pp. 468-469, 226 Cal.Rptr. 475.)

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