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IN RE WINSHIP, 397 U. S. 358 (1970)

U.S. Supreme Court

In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970)

In re Winship

No. 778

Argued January 20, 1970

Decided March 31, 1970

397 U.S. 358


Relying on a preponderance of the evidence, the standard of proof required by § 744(b) of the New York Family Court Act, a New York Family Court judge found that appellant, then a 12-year-old boy, had committed an act that "if done by an adult, would constitute the crime . . . of Larceny." The New York Court of Appeals affirmed, sustaining the constitutionality of § 744(b).

Held: Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is required by the Due Process Clause in criminal trials, is among the "essentials of due process and fair treatment" required during the adjudicatory stage when a juvenile is charged with an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult. Pp. 397 U. S. 361-368.

2 N.Y.2d 196, 247 N.E.2d 253, reversed.

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