Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Innocent or Guilty

1. So Ched Evans has been proved innocent, right?

 

Wrong. You’d be forgiven for thinking this, given that it was in the prepared statement read out by his solicitor, but Ched Evans has not “demonstrated his innocence”. 

That is not how our criminal justice system operates. 

It is not a means by which the truth of a situation or event is conclusively and fully determined. 

Rather the jury are asked one simple question – are you sure that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt (or, as juries are commonly instructed, so that you are sure)? “Not guilty” means just that. The jury were not sure that he was guilty. They may have decided that he was totally, utterly innocent, but we don’t know. All we know is that they considered the evidence, and were less than sure of his guilt. 

As I tell juries in every closing speech – if you think the defendant probably did it, he’s still not guilty. 

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