Criminal Trials

ORS 136.415
Presumption of innocence

  • acquittal in case of reasonable doubt

A defendant in a criminal action is presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved. In case of a reasonable doubt whether the guilt of the defendant is satisfactorily shown, the defendant is entitled to be acquitted. [Formerly 136.520]

See also annotations under ORS 136.520 in permanent edition.

Notes of Decisions

The proper test to be applied in reviewing a case where the state relies upon circumstantial evidence is this: Would a reasonable person, based upon all the evidence adduced in the case, be warranted in finding beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the offense charged. State v. Wright, 12 Or App 73, 504 P2d 1065 (1973)

Circumstantial evidence, like direct evidence, must indicate guilt to the extent that there is no reasonable doubt of that conclusion. State v. Krummacher, 269 Or 125, 523 P2d 1009 (1974)

Circumstantial evidence is sufficient to establish the elements of a crime, and the jury is entitled to draw all reasonable inferences capable of being drawn from such evidence. State v. Larson, 18 Or App 239, 524 P2d 1236 (1974)

An instruction that circumstantial evidence must be inconsistent with any reasonable theory of innocence is not required when the case involves circumstantial evidence, but is merely one way of instructing as to reasonable doubt. State v. Draves, 18 Or App 248, 524 P2d 1225 (1974), Sup Ct review denied

An instruction that circumstantial evidence must be inconsistent with any reasonable theory of defendant’s innocence no longer correctly states the Oregon rule. State v. Johnson, 18 Or App 502, 525 P2d 1077 (1974)

Every rational hypothesis other than guilt need not be excluded in order for the case to be submitted to the jury. State v. Gross, 19 Or App 187, 526 P2d 1050 (1974)

Contempt proceedings are “criminal actions” entitling defendant to rights set forth in this section. State ex rel Hathaway v. Hart, 70 Or App 541, 690 P2d 514 (1984), aff’d 300 Or 231, 708 P2d 1137 (1985)

Use of rebuttable presumption against criminal defendant violates right to not be convicted except on proof beyond reasonable doubt. State v. Rainey, 298 Or 459, 693 P2d 635 (1984)


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May 26, 2023