In this video, let’s figure out what reasonable doubt means? And how is it different from the everyday doubt we might all have. Remember, to convict at a criminal trial, the prosecutor carries the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If the juror has reasonable doubt, he/she must acquit!
The 9th circuit model jury instructions say:
3.5 REASONABLE DOUBT—DEFINED
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced the defendant is guilty. It is not required that the government prove guilt beyond all possible doubt.
A reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense and is not based purely on speculation. It may arise from a careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, or from lack of evidence.
If after a careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, you are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, it is your duty to find the defendant not guilty. On the other hand, if after a careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, it is your duty to find the defendant guilty.
Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM | Criminal Defense and Business Law
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