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5.8 Presumptions

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5.8 PRESUMPTIONS

Comment

The Committee recommends that extreme caution be used in instructing the jury regarding presumptions. "A jury instruction cannot relieve the State of the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt a crucial element of the criminal offense." Patterson v. Gomez, 223 F.3d 959, 962 (9th Cir.2000). Accordingly, "if a ‘reasonable juror could have given the presumption conclusive or persuasion-shifting effect,’ the instruction is unconstitutional." Id. (quoting Sandstrom v. Montana, 442 U.S. 510, 519 (1979)).