People v. Harders – Case Brief Summary (California)

In People v. Harders (1962) 201 Cal.App.2d 795, the jury returned two verdicts finding defendant guilty of robbery "'as charged in Count I'" and conspiracy "'as charged in Count II.'" Originally, the indictment charged the defendant with robbery (count I) and conspiracy (count IV). Counts II and III charged other persons with robberies. (Id. at p. 798.)

During trial, the indictment was amended to delete the charges in counts II and III, leaving only counts I and IV against defendant. (Ibid.)

The jury found defendant guilty, by separate verdicts of robbery and conspiracy; however, the verdict for conspiracy mistakenly identified the charge as count II. (Ibid.)

In considering defendant's claim that there was an error in the verdict, the trial court stated:

"The jury found defendant guilty, by separate verdicts, of both robbery and conspiracy. The fact that the conspiracy verdict referred to Count II of the indictment is immaterial, and did not render the verdict invalid. The form of the verdict is unimportant where as here the jury has unmistakably expressed its intention to convict the defendant of the crime of conspiracy. Moreover, when the verdicts were returned, defendant's counsel pointed out the numerical inconsistency but made no objection to the correction of the record to show that Count II in the verdict form referred to Count IV of the indictment." (Id. at pp. 798-799.)