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IN RE WINSHIP, 397 U. S. 358 (1970)

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U.S. Supreme Court

In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970)

In re Winship

No. 778

Argued January 20, 1970

Decided March 31, 1970

397 U.S. 358


Relying on a preponderance of the evidence, the standard of proof required by § 744(b) of the New York Family Court Act, a New York Family Court judge found that appellant, then a 12-year-old boy, had committed an act that "if done by an adult, would constitute the crime . . . of Larceny." The New York Court of Appeals affirmed, sustaining the constitutionality of § 744(b).

Held: Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is required by the Due Process Clause in criminal trials, is among the "essentials of due process and fair treatment" required during the adjudicatory stage when a juvenile is charged with an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult. Pp. 397 U. S. 361-368.

2 N.Y.2d 196, 247 N.E.2d 253, reversed.

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