07 Oct The Presumption of Innocence
What is the Presumption of Innocence?
Most people have no idea what the presumption of innocence is, and unless you have sat on a jury deciding a criminal case, you may not understand it either. In California, there are jury instructions that are read to the jury right after they hear all of the evidence (testimony) in a criminal case. One of the most important jury instructions is Calcrim 220 which discusses the presumption of innocence and states the following:
Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The only time the presumption of innocence shifts to guilt is when the prosecution puts on enough evidence and testimony to prove the person charged is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the HIGHEST BURDEN OF PROOF in our legal system! Calcrim 220 also explains this burden of proof: