Reasonable Doubt: Sua Sponte Duty
May 20th, 2014


The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction and there is probably no more important instruction that must be given. Failure to give a proper reasonable doubt instruction sua sponte may require automatic reversal. (People v. Phillips (1997) 59 Cal. App. 4th 952, 955-956, disapproved on other grounds by People v. Aranda (2012) 55 Cal. 4th 342.)

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