Telling Jurors That the Presumption of Innocence Starts to Lift with the Testimony of the First Witness Is A “Significant Mischaracterization of the Law”
August 19th, 2021

“It is well established that the presumption of innocence continues into deliberations. [Citation to People v. Dowdell (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 1388, 1408.] It could hardly be otherwise, since jurors are required to keep an open mind and not begin to decide any issue—not only the ultimate issue of guilt—until all the evidence has been presented and deliberations have commenced. (See CALCRIM No. 101.)” (People v. Roberts (2021) 65 Cal.App.5th 469, ___ [pp. 12].)

Accordingly, telling jurors that the presumption of innocence “is starting to lift” from “the moment the first witness testifies” is a “significant mischaracterization of the law.” (People v. Roberts, supra, 65 Cal.App.5th at ___ [pp. 12].)

Tags: , , ,