Burden of Proof and Presumption of Innocence Interactions








It is well settled that in order to convict, a defendant’s guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The Constitutional basis for this rule of law is:
Choice 1 The Fifth Amendment
Choice 2 The Sixth Amendment
Choice 3 The Eight Amendment
Choice 4 The Fourteenth Amendment
Robbery in the state of Akanassee is defined as “taking the personal property of another, from their person or presence, by force or intimidation, with the intent to permanently deprive them thereof.” David is caught on tape knocking over the fragile Ms. Ross and yanking her necklace from her neck. When he is caught several months later, the necklace is found in his apartment in an express mail envelope which is stamped and addressed to Ms. Ross. Can he be convicted of robbery?
Choice 1 Yes, because he took the necklace from her by force and still had it when arrested months later.
Choice 2 Yes, if the prosecution can show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he intended to keep the necklace.
Choice 3 No, because the envelope clearly means the prosecution cannot make out the last element of the crime – intent to permanently deprive her of the necklace.
Choice 4 No, because David never permanently disposed of the necklace and it can now be returned to Ross.
Still in Arkanassee, Jodie is caught on tape taking $10 from Andrea at knifepoint. When arrested Jodie swears it was just a prank. While Jodie is in jail, Andrea receives a letter mailed from Jodie home which contains the $10 bill. Can Jodie be convicted of robbery?
Choice 1 Yes, because she took the money by intimidation.
Choice 2 Yes, because returning stolen goods does not absolve one of guilt for the crime.
Choice 3 No, because by actually returning the money it is unquestionable that Jodie did not have the intent to permanently deprive Andrea of the money.
Choice 4 Yes, because threatening people with knives is illegal in itself.
In the state of Calizona the legislature approved the following Rule of Procedure: “All judges shall inform their juries of the Defendant’s presumption of innocence in criminal cases and that the prosecution bears the burden of demonstrating that the defendant has satisfied every element of the crime in question beyond a reasonable doubt.” If a judge reads this verbatim to a jury and says nothing more, has the jury been properly instructed regarding these matters?
Choice 1 Yes, because the legislature approved the language which contains the appropriate key phrases such that a jury would be aware of the defendant’s rights.
Choice 2 No, because the jury requires further elaboration on the concepts of “presumption of innocence” and “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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