Legal Epistemology: The Anomaly of Affirmative Defenses
University of Texas School of Law
July, 28 2008
This paper explores the tension between the official assignment of the burden of proof to the prosecutor in criminal trials and the fact that most state courts require the defendant to proof any excuse defense he offers to at least a preponderance of the evidence. It likewise argues that the rule in federal courts that defendants propounding a defense must raise a reasonable doubt before the jury can be instructed to consider their defense offends against both the presumption of innocence and the prosecutorial burden of proof.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: affirmative defense, reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence, burden of proofworking papers series
Date posted: July 28, 2008
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