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COOL V. UNITED STATES, 409 U. S. 100 (1972)

U.S. Supreme Court

Cool v. United States, 409 U.S. 100 (1972)

Cool v. United States

No. 72-72

Decided December 4, 1972

409 U.S. 100


Trial court's "accomplice instruction," in effect requiring the jury to decide that a defense witness' testimony was "true beyond a reasonable doubt" before considering that testimony, impermissibly obstructed the right of a criminal defendant to present exculpatory testimony of an accomplice (Washington v. Texas, 388 U. S. 14); and it unfairly reduced the prosecution's burden of proof, since it is possible that the testimony would have created a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury, but that it was not considered because the testimony itself was not believable beyond a reasonable doubt. Cf. In re Winship, 397 U. S. 358.

Certiorari ranted; 461 F.2d 621, reversed and remanded.

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