Bluitt v. State

In Bluitt v. State, 137 S.W.3d 51 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004), the Court of Criminal Appeals noted that of the six types of evidence listed in Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Article 37.07 section 3, only extraneous offenses and bad acts have an articulated burden of proof. Id. at 54. Thus, based on the unambiguous language of Article 37.07 section 3, other forms of evidence such as the defendant's character and the circumstances of the offense on trial do not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Id. The Court held that the trial court need not give a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt instruction concerning extraneous offenses when those offenses resulted in either a final conviction, probation, or deferred adjudication. The court of criminal appeals stated: "While the prior convictions must be properly proved, to require that prior convictions be re-proved beyond a reasonable doubt would be an absurd result, as the very fact of conviction is evidence that the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt has already been met in a prior proceeding. The critical issue is that testing of the proof. If an offense has been subject to such scrutiny and the burden of proof has been met, regardless of whether the judicial proceeding concluded with a final conviction, it is part of a defendant's criminal record, and Art. 37.07, 3, does not require further proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." Id.