United States v. Dove

In United States v. Dove, 916 F.2d 41 (2d Cir. 1990), the Second Circuit reversed a district court because it issued two unbalanced instructions in a bank robbery trial. The first instruction involved identifying the defendant. At trial, two witnesses to the robbery testified the robber was not in the courtroom, even though they had both tentatively identified the defendant in a photo lineup. The court then instructed the jury as follows: The government has the burden of proving the defendants identity as the perpetrator beyond a reasonable doubt. In this connection, it is not essential that a witness be able to identify a defendant in open Court or be free from doubt as to the correctness of her identification of the defendant by other means. However, if you are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was the person who committed the crime, you must find him not guilty.