SC JI Cr § 6-1 Identification

SC JI Cr § 6-1 Identification

State: South Carolina

South Carolina Jury Instructions Criminal (SC JI Criminal) (2018)

SC JI CRIMINAL § 6-1

South Carolina Requests to Charge – Criminal

PART VI DEFENSES

 

§ 6-1 Identification

An issue in this case is the identification of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime charged. The State of South Carolina has the burden of proving identity beyond a reasonable doubt. Identification testimony is an expression of belief or impression by a witness. You may consider the opportunity a witness had to observe the alleged offender at the time of the offense and to thereafter make an identification. It is for the jury to determine the accuracy of the identification of the defendant. You must consider the credibility of each identification witness in the same way as any other witness. You can consider his or her truthfulness as well as the capacity, opportunity and circumstances of the observation of the matters about which he or she testified.

For information purposes only and for consideration in a special fact scenario, I include the Telfaire charge with exactitude:

TELFAIRE CHARGE

One of the most important issues in this case is the identification of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime. The Government has the burden of providing identity beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not essential that the witness himself be free from doubt as to the correctness of his statement. However, you, the jury, must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of the accuracy of the identification of the defendant before you may convict him. If you are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was the person who committed the crime, you must find the defendant not guilty.

Identification testimony is an expression of belief or impression by the witness. Its value depends on the opportunity the witness had to observe the offender at the time of the offense and to make a reliable identification later.

In appraising the identification testimony of a witness, you should consider the following:

(1) Are you convinced that the witness had the capacity and an adequate opportunity to observe the offender?

Whether the witness had an adequate opportunity to observe the offender at the time of the offense will be affected by such matters as how long or short a time was available, how far or close the witness was, how good were lighting conditions, whether the witness had had occasion to see or know the person in the past. [In general, a witness bases any identification he makes on his perception through the use of his senses. Usually the witness identifies an offender by the sense of sight-but this is not necessarily so, and he may use other senses.] [1]

(2) Are you satisfied that the identification made by the witness subsequent to the offense was the product of his own recollection? You may take into account both the strength of the identification, and the circumstances under which the identification was made.

If the identification by the witness may have been influenced by the circumstances under which the defendant was presented to him for identification, you should scrutinize the identification with great care. You may also consider the length of time that lapsed between the occurrence of the crime and the next opportunity of the witness to see defendant, as a factor bearing on the reliability of the identification.

[You may also take into account that an identification made by picking the defendant out of a group of similar individuals is generally more reliable than one which results from the presentation of the defendant alone to the witness.]

[(3) You make take into account any occasions in which the witness failed to make an identification of defendant, or made an identification that was inconsistent with his identification at trial.]

(4) Finally, you must consider the credibility of each identification witness in the same way as any other witness, consider whether he is truthful, and consider whether he had the capacity and opportunity to make a reliable observation on the matter covered in his testimony.

I again emphasize that the burden of proof on the prosecutor extends to every element of the crime charged, and this specifically includes the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt the identity of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime with which he stands charged. If after examining the testimony, you have a reasonable doubt as to the accuracy of the identification, you must find the defendant not guilty.

By | 2018-04-07T08:32:15+00:00 April 7th, 2018|Comments Off on SC JI Cr § 6-1 Identification