This exercise provides a general introduction to constitutional limitations on the assignment of burdens of proof and the creation of evidentiary presumptions. Evidentiary distinctions are addressed only insofar as they make a difference from the standpoint of constitutional law. This exercise is not about the law of criminal evidence, but about the constitutional limitations on that body of law.
On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:
1. Discuss the constitutional limitations on the assignment of burdens of proof.
2. Define burden of production.
3. Define burden of persuasion.
4. Define what it mean to have proved an element beyond a reasonable doubt.
5. Identify the creation of evidentiary presumptions.