Coffin v. United States

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Coffin v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Decided March 4, 1895
Full case name Coffin, et al. v. United States
Citations 156 U.S. 432 (more)
15 S. Ct. 394
Holding
it is the duty of the judge, in all jurisdictions, when requested, and in some when not requested, to explain it to the jury in his charge. The usual formula in which this doctrine is expressed is that every man is presumed to be innocent until his guilt is proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority White

Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432 (1895), was an appellate case before the United States Supreme Court in 1895 which established the presumption of innocence of persons accused of crimes.

F. A. Coffin and Percival B. Coffin, plaintiffs in error, and A. S. Reed had been charged with aiding and abetting the former president of the Indianapolis National Bank, Theodore P. Haughey, in misdemeanor bank fraud between January 1, 1891, and July 26, 1893.

It is a complex case with a 50 count indictment. But the most interesting aspect is commentary by the Court regarding presumption of innocence:

In the decision, the Court then goes on to detail the complete legal history of presumed innocence.

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