ORS 44.370
Witness presumed to speak truth

  • jury judges of credibility

A witness is presumed to speak the truth. This presumption, however, may be overcome by the manner in which the witness testifies, by the character of the testimony of the witness, or by evidence affecting the character or motives of the witness, or by contradictory evidence. Where the trial is by the jury, they are the exclusive judges of the credibility of the witness.

Source: Section 44.370 — Witness presumed to speak truth; jury judges of credibility, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors044.­html.

Notes of Decisions

An instruction in criminal prosecution that a witness is presumed to speak the truth did not nullify the presumption of defendant’s innocence where defendant put on a case. State v. Blocher, 10 Or App 357, 499 P2d 1346 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

The state had a right to show bias or interest of the witness by inquiring into the nature and circumstance of his acquaintance with the defendant and if the legitimate inquiry revealed that it was born and ripened in the penitentiary it is no less relevant. State v. Guerrero, 11 Or App 284, 501 P2d 998 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

A jury instruction on the presumption of truthfulness, when accompanied by burden of proof and reasonable doubt instructions, does not impliedly place the burden of proof on the defendant so as to deny due process of the law. Cupp v. Naughten, 414 US 141, 94 S Ct 396, 38 L Ed 2d 368 (1973)

COMPLETED CITATIONS: State v. Williams, 6 Or App 189, 487 P2d 100 (1971), Sup Ct review denied

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