People v. Adams, Docket No. 10975

Decision Date29 July 1971
Docket NumberNo. 1,Docket No. 10975,1
Citation35 Mich.App. 408,192 N.W.2d 625
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Carl Henry ADAMS, Defendant-Appellant
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan — District of US

Jack J. Kraizman, Detroit, for defendant-appellant.

Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Derengoski, Sol. Gen., William L. Cahalan, Pros. Atty., Dominick R. Carnovale, Chief, Appellate Div., Robert A. Reuther, Asst. Pros. Atty., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before T. M. BURNS, P.J., and HOLBROOK and McGREGOR, JJ.

PER CURIAM.

Defendant was found guilty by a jury of breaking and entering an occupied dwelling with intent to commit a larceny. M.C.L.A. 1971 Cum.Supp. § 750.110 (Stat.Ann.1971 Cum.Supp. § 28.305). Complainant, upon returning to his previously locked home, found defendant inside, gave chase to defendant, and apprehended him about a block away. After turning defendant over to the police, complainant returned home again. At this point, complainant observed two unknown men in his backyard who fled when he saw them. Complainant then learned that his shotgun was missing.

The trial court, in its charge to the jury, defined reasonable doubt:

"A reasonable doubt is ladies and gentlemen, largely just what the words themselves suggest. A reasonable doubt is a doubt for which you can give a reason for entertaining, a doubt growing out of the evidence or lack of evidence in the case; A doubt which would cause you to hesitate in the ordinary affairs of life. Now, it is not a flimsy, fanciful or ficticious (sic) doubt that you could raise about anything or everything, nor is it a doubt based on sympathy, bias or prejudice. It is not that kind of a doubt that excuses the Defendant on which you would find him not guilty. It is rather, as I have said before, a doubt for which you can give a reason for entertaining, a doubt growing out of the evidence of lack of evidence in a case, etc." (Emphasis added)

After the jury had begun deliberations, the jury requested additional instructions, asking the meaning of reasonable doubt. The court redefined reasonable doubt substantially as noted above. The jury apparently expressed further concern as to the meaning of the term 'reasonable doubt.' The court then tried to explain the meaning by way of an example of a reasonable doubt and an unreasonable doubt. After the jury had again retired, defense counsel moved for a mistrial, alleging that the examples were misleading. The motion was denied.

On appeal, defendant asserts that the use of the phrase 'a doubt which would cause you to hesitate in the ordinary affairs of life' was erroneous, citing People v. Albers (1904), 137 Mich. 678, 690, 691, 100 N.W. 908. While the use of such a phrase alone to define reasonable doubt may be prejudicial, the use of the phrase, when read in context with the rest of...

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6 cases
  • People v. Marshall
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • May 1, 1974
    ...evidence of concert of action. People v. Walker, 40 Mich.App. 142, 144, 198 N.W.2d 449, 450 (1972). See, also, People v. Adams, 35 Mich.App. 408, 411, 192 N.W.2d 625, 626 (1971), and People v. Dawson, 32 Mich.App. 336, 337, 188 N.W.2d 676, 677 In McClendon, supra, one individual was caught ......
  • People v. Mobley
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • May 24, 1972
    ...a whole. The instruction on reasonable doubt given by the trial judge was similar to that approved by this Court in People v. Adams, 35 Mich.App. 408, 192 N.W.2d 625 (1971). There was no Affirmed. O'HARA, Judge (concurring in result). Judge Brennan and I limit our decisional concurrence to ......
  • People v. Battle
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • September 7, 1976
    ...den., 394 Mich. 809 (1975), People v. Hodo, 51 Mich.App. 628, 215 N.W.2d 733 (1974), Lv. den., 393 Mich. 806 (1975), People v. Adams, 35 Mich.App. 408, 192 N.W.2d 625 (1971), People v. Dawson, 32 Mich.App. 336, 188 N.W.2d 676 (1971), Lv. den., 385 Mich. 776 Defendant next argues that his co......
  • People v. McClendon, Docket No. 14998
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • July 25, 1973
    ...when there is no evidence to support that charge. People v. Walker, 40 Mich.App. 142, 198 N.W.2d 449 (1972); People v. Adams, 35 Mich.App. 408, 192 N.W.2d 625 (1971). However, this principle is inapplicable to the case at bar. A review of the record reveals ample proof as to the presence of......
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