Does the court have to substitute the credibility of a witness with that of the fact finder?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from People v. Martinez, E065098 (Cal. App. 2017):

First, it is not the role of this court to "substitute our evaluation of a witness's credibility for that of the fact finder." (People v. Jones (1990) 51 Cal.3d 294, 314.) Officer Laing and defendant both testified as to her admissions, as discussed above. It was the purview of the finders of fact to make the credibility determination, which the jury obviously did in this instance in favor of Officer Laing over defendant. Having

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heard both sides of the conflicting testimony, their determination is "much more likely to be a matter of look-him-in-the-eye believability than if they had just heard the testimony of a police officer about the admissions." (People v. Quach (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 294, 300.) We decline to substitute our evaluation for that of the jury.

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