A reasonable doubt arises from a fair and rational consideration of all the evidence
Every jury is instructed that the burden of proof is upon the prosecution to prove to the satisfaction of the jury beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of every element necessary to constitute a crime charge. A reasonable doubt means a doubt based upon reason and common sense which arises from a fair and rational consideration of all the evidence or the lack of evidence in the case. It is a doubt which is not a vague, speculative or imaginary doubt, but such a doubt as would cause reasonable people to hesitate to act in matters of importance to themselves.
Obviously, this definition is confusing and difficult to understand. The function of the defense attorney is to explain and convince the jury that the evidence presented, or the lack of evidence or the conflict in the evidence, creates a reasonable doubt as to the accusation. Studies have shown that perhaps 50% of jurors believe that the Defendant committed the offense charged before hearing any evidence. The defense attorney must point out each problem, weakness and deficiency in the evidence that is a source of a reasonable doubt.
The defense attorney must convince the jury that they cannot be firmly convinced of the client's guilt based upon the evidence presented in the courtroom. It must be argued that there is a real possibility that the client is not guilty and the jury must give him/her the benefit of the doubt and return a verdict of not guilty.
The jury must understand that its verdict may stand forever and that a reasonable doubt arising tomorrow will mean that an injustice has taken place. The client is never to be convicted on mere suspicion, assumption or conjecture of the moment. The conviction of an innocent person is a tragic event that must be avoided. That is why the accused is presumed innocent and the burden on the government is extremely high.
Call me (970-871-7400) to discuss your questions, needs and how I can help you.
"Over the last fourteen years, I have tried more jury trials than any practicing attorney in the 14th Judicial District (Routt County, Moffat County, and Grand County Colorado including Steamboat Springs, Craig, and Hot Sulphur Springs) with consistent success."
-- Larry D. Combs
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