|News from the Director
Instructions and Sample Pleadings for Pursuing Relief under People v. Chiu (2014) 59 Cal.4th 155
[Posted Feb. 26, 2015]
The materials here have been drafted to assist attorneys (trial or appellate) in preparing habeas corpus petitions for former clients to raise claims under People v. Chiu (2014) 59 Cal.4th 155. In Chiu, the Supreme Court repudiated "natural and probable consequences" (NPC) as a ground for vicarious liability for first-degree premeditated murder. Prior California case law had either accepted or implicitly presumed the applicability of NPC to first-degree murder, and numerous murder convictions were affirmed on that basis. Because Chiu represents a change in the law -- or, more precisely, a correction in the understanding of California homicide law -- it should be fully retroactive, including to cases which had already become "final" prior to Chiu. See the instructions, as well as the bracketed boldfaced text in the petition itself for tips.
4. Chiu petition, Jud Council form (PDF)