CALCRIM No. 221. Reasonable Doubt: Bifurcated Trial

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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221.Reasonable Doubt: Bifurcated Trial
The People are required to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you with an
abiding conviction that the allegation is true. The evidence does not need
to eliminate all possible doubt because everything in life is open to some
possible or imaginary doubt.
In deciding whether the People have proved (an/the) allegation beyond a
reasonable doubt, you must impartially compare and consider all the
evidence that was received during this [phase of the] trial. Unless the
evidence proves (an/the) allegation beyond a reasonable doubt, you must
find that the allegation has not been proved [and disregard it
New January 2006; Revised August 2015
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on reasonable doubt in any proceeding
in which that standard of proof applies.
This instruction is provided for the court to use only in bifurcated trials or special
proceedings where the court is required to instruct on reasonable doubt but neither
CALCRIM No. 219, Reasonable Doubt in Civil Commitment Proceedings, nor
CALCRIM No. 220, Reasonable Doubt, would apply. Do not use this instruction in
place of CALCRIM No. 220 in a trial on the substantive crimes charged.
Use this instruction only if: (1) the court has granted a bifurcated trial on a prior
conviction or a sentencing factor (see CALCRIM No. 3101, Prior Conviction:
Bifurcated Trial and CALCRIM No. 3251, Enhancement, Sentencing Factor, or
Specific Factual Issue: Template - Bifurcated Trial); or (2) in the penalty phase of a
capital trial when the court is instructing on other violent criminal activity or prior
felony convictions offered as aggravation (see CALCRIM No. 764, Death Penalty:
Evidence of Other Violent Crimes and CALCRIM No. 765, Death Penalty:
Conviction for Other Felony Crimes).
In the first sentence, the court, at its discretion, may wish to insert a description of
the specific allegations that the People must prove.
In the final paragraph, give the bracketed phrase “and disregard it completely” when
using this instruction in the penalty phase of a capital trial.
Instructional Requirements. Pen. Code, §§ 1096, 1096a; People v. Freeman
(1994) 8 Cal.4th 450, 503-504 [34 Cal.Rptr.2d 558, 882 P.2d 249].
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012), Defenses, § 2.
4 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 83,
Evidence, § 83.03[1], Ch. 85, Submission to Jury and Verdict, § 85.02[1A][a],
[2][a][i] (Matthew Bender).

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