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22 Am. J. Crim. L. 677 (1994-1995)
The Reasonable Doubt Jury Instruction: Giving Meaning to a Critical Concept

handle is hein.journals/ajcl22 and id is 685 raw text is: The Reasonable Doubt Jury Instruction:
Giving Meaning to a Critical Concept
Jessica N. Cohen*
Table of Contents
I.  Introduction  ....................................          677
II. The Constitutional Requirement of Proof Beyond a Reasonable
D oubt  ........................................           679
III. Division Among the Federal and State Courts ............ 682
A.   The Federal Courts ........................... 682
B.   The State Jurisdictions ......................... 686
IV. Reasonable Doubt Should Be Defined .................. 688
A. Reasonable Doubt Is a Legal Term in Need of Definition . 688
B. Fairness to Both Sides Mandates Defining Reasonable
D oubt  .....................................          692
1. Fairness to the Defendant .................... 692
2. Fairness to the Prosecution  ................... 694
V. Reasonable Doubt Can Be Clearly and Simply Defined ...... 696
VI.  Conclusion  .....................................         701
I.  Introduction
As early as 1793, a New Jersey court instructed jurors to follow the
humane rule and acquit the defendant if they had reasonable doubts
about his guilt.' What did this eighteenth-century judge mean by reason-
* Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division; B.A. 1985, The
American University; J.D. 1988, Georgetown University Law Center. The views expressed
herein are those of the author alone and readers should not infer that they represent those of
the Department of Justice.
1. State v. Wilson, 1 N.J.L. 502, 506 (1793). At least one commentator has traced the

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