Evidence of Premeditation for a First Degree Murder Conviction in California

In People v. Anderson (1968) 70 Cal.2d 15, the California Supreme Court considered the types of circumstantial evidence that can support a finding of premeditation for a first degree murder conviction. (Id. at p. 25.) The high court explained that the following three categories of evidence can sustain a finding of premeditated murder: (1) planning; (2) motive; (3) the nature and manner of the attack. (Id. at pp. 26-27.) However, Anderson's categorization does not provide a definitive analysis of whether evidence suffices to support a murder conviction. the Supreme Court later explained: "In identifying categories of evidence bearing on premeditation and deliberation, Anderson did not purport to establish an exhaustive list that would exclude all other types and combinations of evidence that could support a finding of premeditation and deliberation. . . . The Anderson factors, while helpful for purposes of review, are not a sine qua non to finding first degree premeditated murder, nor are they exclusive." (People v. Perez (1992) 2 Cal.4th 1117, 1125.)