California Appellate Court Okays Trial Court's Elaboration of Reasonable Doubt Instruction

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For the second time this year the Fourth District Court of Appeal (Second Division) has affirmed a conviction after the trial court elaborated on the standard reasonable doubt instruction. In the earlier case, People v. Moore, the court found no error in the judge's offering examples of what constitutes proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In the latest, People v. Muniz, the court's description of an "abiding conviction" as a verdict with which the jury feels comfortable "the day you do it, two months or a year from now" was held not to lessen the burden of proof.

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