Pennsylvania judges should avoid using hypotheticals when instructing criminal juries on the reasonable doubt standard, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has said, wading into an issue of first impression for the Keystone State.

The justices ruled 5-1 on Nov. 23 in the case Commonwealth v. Drummond that a hypothetical used during a murder trial likening the jury’s deliberations to making a medical decision for a loved one violated defendant Gerald Drummond’s constitutional rights.

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