People v. Flanders

In People v. Flanders (1979) 89 Cal. App. 3d 634, the accused failed "to object or request other instructions" ( id. at p. 640) after the court limited to the incriminating aspects of accomplice testimony the standard instruction on viewing that testimony with distrust. ( Id. at p. 640.) The appellate court held that an accused who thinks "additional instructions were necessary to separate or clarify the jury's duties" with regard to the incriminating and exonerating aspects of accomplice testimony has the duty "to make known his or her views to the trial court." (Ibid.) The instruction at issue in Flanders "'was given for the benefit and protection of the defendant. If this benefit was outweighed by a disadvantage attributable to the fact that the witness was called by him, as well as by the People, he should have informed the trial court of his wishes in the premises, i.e., whether to accept or reject the instruction. If the allegedly objectionable instruction had not been given, it is more than likely that the defendant would now be complaining because of such failure.'" ( People v. Flanders, supra, 89 Cal. App. 3d at p. 639.)