SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1969
THE COURT: People versus Beausoleil.
Just to get the record straight, it appears that this matter will go to a jury trial. We want to excuse Officer Humphrey until tomorrow. The suggested time, Officer, is 2:00 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, and we will be selecting a jury, and we will work you in tomorrow afternoon sometime.
I think we are ready to proceed.
At this time it has been agreed by counsel that in this case the People are not seeking the death penalty, and that therefore there will be no voir dire examination with regard to the death penalty.
It has further been agreed that the matter of guilt and the degree of the crime will be submitted to the jury for their determination, and that the sentence will be left up to the Court with the understanding that there will be no death penalty invoked.
MR. ROSS: That is correct.
MR. SALTER: If the jury comes back with first degree murder, then the Court will impose the sentence, and there will be no death penalty?
THE COURT: That is right.
MR. ROSS: It will necessitate a waiver on that aspect of the penalty.
MR. SALTER: We would waive that.
MR. ROSS: Well, Mr. Beausoleil has to do that personally.
Mr. Beausoleil, you have heard what the Court has just stated, that in the event you are convicted of first degree murder, you have a right to have your penalty, whatever it will be, imprisonment or death in the gas chamber, submitted to the jury on the issue of guilt or innocence.
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
MR. ROSS: It has just been stated that the Court is not seeking the death penalty, and the Court has stated it will not impose it.
In light of that fact, and in light of the fact that you understand that you have a right to a jury trial, do you waive and give up your right to a jury trial on the issue of the penalty only? I am talking about whether you are innocent or guilty.
MR. SALTER: In other words, you understand what would happen? The jury comes back with a finding of first degree murder, under the law it is up to them to determine whether the punishment would be life imprisonment or death. It has been proposed that we waive the right to have a jury determine whether it is life imprisonment or death and submit that issue to the Court.
The Court has stated that if that issue is submitted to it, it will not impose the death penalty. In other words, it would not impose a death penalty. Therefore, under those conditions, do you wish to waive your right to trial on the issue of penalty in the event that you were found guilty of first degree murder?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
MR. SALTER: I will join in the waiver.
THE COURT: All right. Let's order a jury.
THE COURT: It has just been brought to my attention that there is not a jury panel available for the trial of this case at this time, and there will not be until tomorrow morning. It therefore becomes necessary to set this matter over until tomorrow morning.
So, Mr. Beausoleil, this matter will be continued until 10:00 o'clock tomorrow morning. You are ordered and directed to be back here at 10:00 o'clock in the morning.