CALJIC 9.02 - Interpretation

In People v. Aguilar (1997) 16 Cal.4th 1023, the Supreme Court concluded the use of hands or fists alone may support a conviction for an assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. ( Id., at p. 1028.) The court also noted that, although the resulting injury is highly probative of the amount of force used by a defendant, it is not conclusive. ( Id., at p. 1035.) Furthermore, in that case, CALJIC No. 9.02 was given, and the Supreme Court found that the instructions "called on the jury to find defendant's conduct had the capability and probability of inflicting great bodily injury under either a 'deadly weapon' theory or a 'force likely' theory. The jury's analytical process was the same in either event." ( People v. Aguilar, supra, 16 Cal.4th at p. 1037.) The court also observed that the prosecutor in that case argued that it was the manner in which the hands or feet were used that was significant by stating that, if the manner in which they were used could cause great bodily injury, then they could become deadly weapons. ( Id., at p. 1036.)