The standard jury charge used in County Criminal Court at Law No. 3 is one of those charges.
The law does not require a defendant to prove his or her innocence or produce any evidence at all.That is the essence of the presumption of innocence. It is the prosecution's burden to prove that the citizen accused committed each and every element of the offense.
You are instructed that the criminal information is not evidence of guilt. It is the means whereby a Defendant is brought to trial in a misdemeanor prosecution. It is not evidence, nor can it be considered by you in passing upon the guilt or innocence of this Defendant.It is not the jury's duty to determine whether the citizen accused is innocent of anything. It is the jury's duty to determine whether the prosecution has proved each and every element of its case beyond all reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt, then the jury must find the citizen accused not guilty.
Your sole duty at this time is to determine the guilt or innocence of the Defendant under the information in this case, and restrict your deliberations solely to the issue of guilt or innocence of the Defendant.This is the last paragraph of the charge and the law is misstated twice -- and this is the last thing the jurors hear from the judge before beginning their deliberations. The "sole duty" of the jury in a criminal case is to determine whether or not the prosecution has proved each and every element of the alleged offense beyond all reasonable doubt.
Using the phrase "guilt or innocence of the Defendant" three times in the charge only serves to undermine the presumption of innocence and shift the burden of proof from the state to the citizen accused.