In re LozaAnnotate this Case
Petitioner, convicted of two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted robbery, argued on direct appeal that insufficient evidence supported the jury's finding true the Penal Code section 190.2 special circumstance allegations that the murders were committed while petitioner was engaged in the attempted commission of a robbery or burglary. In 2015, the California Supreme Court held in People v. Banks that, under section 190.2, subdivision (d), an aider and abettor of felony murder who lacks the intent to kill may be sentenced to a term of life without the possibility of parole only if the aider and abettor was a "major participant" in the crime and acted with "reckless indifference to human life." In light of Banks, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury's robbery/burglary special circumstance findings. The court reviewed the record in light of the California Supreme Court's most recent guidance concerning defendant aider and abbettor's culpability along the so-called Enmund-Tison continuum, holding that sufficient evidence supported the jury's section 190.2 robbery/burglary special circumstance findings in this case. Accordingly, the court denied the petition.