Mississippi Justices Change Circumstantial Evidence Instructions. 5-4 ruling overrides previous case law in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday overruled previous case law requiring special instructions ramping up the burden of proof in circumstantial evidence cases.
Justices James Kitchens, Leslie King, Josiah Coleman, and David Ishee authored a well-reasoned dissent.
Instructions for circumstantial evidence were “born of a judicial desire to reduce the odds of convicting the innocent of unseen, unconfessed crimes,” Kitchens wrote in the dissent. “The shifting sands of circumstantial evidence necessitate such a safety mechanism.”
The case is Nevels v. Mississippi, Miss., No. 2020-KA-00335, 8/19/21