CALCRIM No. 219. Reasonable Doubt in Civil Commitment Proceedings

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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B. GENERAL LEGAL CONCEPTS
219.Reasonable Doubt in Civil Commitment Proceedings
The fact that a petition to (declare respondent a sexually violent
predator/declare respondent a mentally disordered offender/extend
respondent’s commitment) has been filed is not evidence that the petition
is true. You must not be biased against the respondent just because the
petition has been filed and this matter has been brought to trial. The
Petitioner is required to prove the allegations of the petition are true
beyond a reasonable doubt.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you with an
abiding conviction that the allegations of the petition are true. The
evidence need not eliminate all possible doubt because everything in life
is open to some possible or imaginary doubt.
In deciding whether the Petitioner has proved the allegations of the
petition are true beyond a reasonable doubt, you must impartially
compare and consider all the evidence that was received throughout the
entire trial. Unless the evidence proves the Respondent
<insert what must be proved in this proceeding, e.g., “is a sexually violent
predator”> beyond a reasonable doubt, you must find the petition is not
true.
New August 2009; Revised August 2015
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to instruct jurors on the reasonable doubt standard
in civil commitment proceedings relating to sexually violent predators (Welf. & Inst.
Code, §§ 6604, 6605) and mentally disordered offenders (Pen. Code, §§ 2966, 2972)
as well as extended commitment proceedings for persons found not guilty by reason
of insanity (Pen. Code, § 1026.5(b)) and juveniles committed to the Division of
Juvenile Facilities (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 1800 et seq.).
In People v. Beeson (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 1393, 1411 [122 Cal.Rptr.2d 384], the
Court concluded that neither the federal nor the state Constitution compelled an
instruction on a presumption that the allegations of a mentally disordered offender
(MDO) extension petition are not true. However, no court has addressed whether the
respondents in extended insanity commitment and extended juvenile commitment
proceedings are entitled to an instruction on the presumption. (Pen. Code,
§ 1026.5(b)(7); Welf. & Inst. Code, § 1801.5; see also Hudec v. Superior Court
(2015) 60 Cal.4th 815, 826 [339 P.3d 998, 1004] [“section 1026.5(b)(7) provides
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respondents in commitment extension hearings the rights constitutionally enjoyed by
criminal defendants”] and In re Luis C. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 1397, 1402-1403
[11 Cal.Rptr.3d 429] [same for Welfare and Institutions Code section 1801.5
juvenile proceedings].)
AUTHORITY
• Instructional Requirements. People v. Beeson (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 1393,
1401 [122 Cal.Rptr.2d 384]; Pen. Code, § 1026.5(b)(7); Welf. & Inst. Code,
§ 1801.5.
Related Instructions
CALCRIM No. 220, Reasonable Doubt.
CALCRIM No. 3453, Extension of Commitment.
CALCRIM No. 3454, Commitment as Sexually Violent Predator.
CALCRIM No. 3454A, Hearing to Determine Current Status Under Sexually
Violent Predator Act.
CALCRIM No. 3456, Initial Commitment of Mentally Disordered Offender As
Condition of Parole.
CALCRIM No. 3457, Extension of Commitment as Mentally Disordered Offender.
CALCRIM No. 3458, Extension of Commitment to Division of Juvenile Facilities.
SECONDARY SOURCES
3 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Punishment, § 774.
5 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 104, Parole,
§ 104.06 (Matthew Bender).
CALCRIM No. 219 POST-TRIAL: INTRODUCTORY
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