In Dewitt v. Porter, 13 Cal. 172, the penalty imposed was fifteen per cent, and in the Second California Report the penalty imposed was usually ten per cent, although the delay was sometimes only a few months.Summary of this case from Huber v. Shedoudy
Appeal from the Court of Sessions, San Joaquin County.
Indictment for larceny. The instructions, which it is stated, in the opinion of the Court, should have been given, are so obviously correct, that it is useless to print them.
H. Amyx, for Appellant.
Attorney-General, for Respondent.
JUDGES: Terry, C. J. delivered the opinion of the Court. Baldwin, J. concurring.
The first, third, fifth, and sixth instructions asked by the defendant, were certainly pertinent and proper, and the refusal to give them was error.
The Attorney-General seeks to avoid the consequence of this error by showing that these instructions were given in substance by the Court. But this is not sufficient. It is important to defendants in criminal cases that the principles of law which he invoke in their defense should be stated to the jury in clear and explicit terms, so that they may not be misunderstood. An instruction may be given in substance in language so different from that in which it was asked, as to be very difficult of comprehension, and it is always safer to repeat the instruction, than risk misleading the jury by the refusal of one which is proper and pertinent. At any rate, if an instruction is refused, for the reason that it has already been given, the reason of the refusal should be stated. (People v. Hurley , 8 Cal. 390.)
Judgment reversed and cause remanded.