Part I of this article briefly discusses the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, along with its importance to individuals and society generally. Part II surveys some of the truth-related language used in multiple state and federal jurisdictions. It also examines the constitutional problems created by this language and discusses courts' inadequate responses to these problems.
Part III explains our controlled experiment, including our hypotheses, study design, and empirical findings. Part IV discusses these findings and their significance and argues that courts should immediately terminate their use of truth-based jury instructions so that our constitutional guarantees are fulfilled. Finally, Part V discusses the possible limitations of our study and considers ways that researchers may choose to address these issues in future studies.
Michael D. Cicchini & Lawrence T. White,
Truth or Doubt? An Empirical Test of Criminal Jury Instructions,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol50/iss4/3