June 25, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Jury Instruction Proper that People Did Not Bear Burden of Disproving Self-Defense when Also Instructed as to Elements of Reckless Manslaughter

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Pickering on September 12, 2011.

Criminal Law—Jury Instructions—Self-Defense.

The Supreme Court held that the trial court did not commit constitutional error by instructing the jury, pursuant to CRS § 18-1-704(4), that the People did not bear the burden of disproving that Pickering acted in self-defense when the court properly instructed the jury on the elements of reckless manslaughter. The court of appeals’ judgment was reversed.

Summary and full case available here.

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