2015 ORS 44.370¹
Witness presumed to speak truth
  • jury judges of credibility

A witness is presumed to speak the truth. This presumption, however, may be overcome by the manner in which the witness testifies, by the character of the testimony of the witness, or by evidence affecting the character or motives of the witness, or by contradictory evidence. Where the trial is by the jury, they are the exclusive judges of the credibility of the witness.

Notes of Decisions

An instruc­tion in crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­­tion that a witness is presumed to speak the truth did not nullify the presump­tion of defendant's innocence where defendant put on a case. State v. Blocher, 10 Or App 357, 499 P2d 1346 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

The state had a right to show bias or interest of the witness by inquiring into the nature and circumstance of his acquaintance with the defendant and if the legitimate inquiry revealed that it was born and ripened in the penitentiary it is no less relevant. State v. Guerrero, 11 Or App 284, 501 P2d 998 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

A jury instruc­tion on the presump­tion of truthfulness, when accompanied by burden of proof and reasonable doubt instruc­tions, does not impliedly place the burden of proof on the defendant so as to deny due process of the law. Cupp v. Naughten, 414 US 141, 94 S Ct 396, 38 L Ed 2d 368 (1973)

Completed Cita­tions

State v. Williams, 6 Or App 189, 487 P2d 100 (1971), Sup Ct review denied


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 44—Witnesses, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors044.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 44, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano044.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.