Does a witness have to refrain from expressing an opinion as to whether a crime has been committed?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Contreras, D072316 (Cal. App. 2018):

Likewise, the same reasoning that "prohibits the witness from expressing an opinion on the meaning of statutory terms . . . also prohibits the witness from expressing an opinion as to whether a crime has been committed." (People v. Torres, supra, 33 Cal.App.4th at p. 47.) "A witness may not express an opinion on a defendant's guilt. [Citations.] The reason for this rule is not because guilt is the ultimate issue of fact for the jury, as opinion testimony often goes to the ultimate issue. [Citations.] 'Rather, opinions on guilt or innocence are inadmissible because they are of no assistance to the trier of fact. To put it another way, the trier of fact is as competent as the witness to

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