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110k1144.13(6) Most Cited Cases

When conducting legal sufficiency-of-evidence review, Court of Criminal Appeals, in practice, assumes that jury weighed lightly exculpatory evidence and disbelieved entirely exculpatory witnesses, and court makes that assumption no matter how powerful exculpatory evidence may seem or how credible defense witnesses may appear; if inculpatory evidence standing alone is enough for rational people to believe in guilt of defendant, Court of Criminal Appeals simply does not care how much credible evidence is on other side.

[4] Criminal Law 1159.2(9)

110k1159.2(9) Most Cited Cases

One of most significant differences between "factual" and "legal" or "constitutional" sufficiency of evidence standards is that the latter does not permit weighing of inculpatory against exculpatory evidence.

[2][3] When we conduct a legal sufficiency-of-the-evidence review as prescribed by Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979), we do not weigh the evidence tending to establish guilt against the evidence tending to establish innocence. Nor do we assess the credibility of witnesses on each side. We view the evidence in a manner favorable to the verdict of guilty. In practice, this means we assume that the jury weighed lightly the exculpatory evidence and disbelieved entirely the exculpatory witnesses. We make this assumption no matter how powerful the exculpatory evidence may seem to us or how credible the defense witnesses may appear. If the inculpatory evidence standing alone is enough for rational people to believe in the guilt of the *206 defendant, we simply do not care how much credible evidence is on the other side. [FN1]

 

[4] Of course, we have lately come to hold that the courts of appeals do have authority to conduct factual sufficiency reviews on direct appeal, and we have indicated that we also have such authority, in capital cases in which exculpatory evidence may be weighed against inculpatory evidence. Clewis v. State, 922 S.W.2d 126, 130 & 136 (Tex.Crim.App.1996). But this kind of evidentiary review is quite different from that in which the evidence is examined to determine whether, viewing it in a light most favorable to the verdict, any rational trier of fact could have found the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Indeed, one of the most significant differences between the so-called "factual" and the so-called "legal" or "constitutional" sufficiency-of-the-evidence standards is that the latter does not permit a weighing of inculpatory against exculpatory evidence.

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