Karl`s PC Help Forums

Not proven
marymary100 - 24-9-2017 at 13:00

unique

In Scotland as well as Guilty/Not Guilty verdicts there remains the option of Not Proven which is used when the jury presumes guilt but can't find enough current evidence to support the guilt verdict.





Quote:

Scotland, unlike most of the world's legal systems, has three possible verdicts in criminal cases - guilty, not guilty and not proven
The legal implications of a not proven verdict are the same as with a not guilty verdict: the accused is acquitted and is innocent in the eyes of the law
Not proven is seen by some as offering additional protection to the accused
But critics argue that it is confusing for juries and the public, can stigmatise an accused person and fail to provide closure for victims
Scottish juries were historically able to return only proven or not proven verdicts
A third verdict of not guilty was introduced in the 1700s and became more commonly used than not proven
However, the option of returning a verdict of not proven was never removed
In more recent years, the general perception has been that a "not proven" verdict suggests a sheriff or jury believes the accused is guilty, but does not have sufficient evidence to convict



However there are moves afoot to retain Guilty/Not Proven and get rid of "Not Guilty". I'm uncomfortable with that.


Katzy - 24-9-2017 at 19:56

Seems odd. Even if someone is found to be innocent, I presume a case can be retried if some compelling new evidence is turned up.

The thing that strikes me, is that if someone is merely found to have had an offence "not proven", there's likely to be a stigma, as they haven't been found innocent (As you quoted). It could be taken as everyone actually thinking they're guilty, it's just a mere technicality that they never found enough evidence.

Stinks like rotting cow poo.


LSemmens - 25-9-2017 at 00:55

I like the concept. If the case is "not proven", I would hope that there is legislation in place to allow a re-trial. Of course, there would be a stigma attached to such a verdict. I would, therefore, consider such an option as only appropriate for particularly heinous cases.


Nimuae - 25-9-2017 at 06:22

Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
unique

However there are moves afoot to retain Guilty/Not Proven and get rid of "Not Guilty". I'm uncomfortable with that.


I can understand why you would be uncomfortable, MM, to me 'not proven' is not a proper verdict. If they have to lose one of the choices it should be that one that goes - but why can't they just leave things alone??


Katzy - 25-9-2017 at 11:06

Maybe the legal industry have found a way to make even more money.

It sure smacks of that, to me.


dr john - 25-9-2017 at 21:42

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
I like the concept. If the case is "not proven", I would hope that there is legislation in place to allow a re-trial. Of course, there would be a stigma attached to such a verdict. I would, therefore, consider such an option as only appropriate for particularly heinous cases.

That's the whole point of the third option.
Not Guilt triggers the can't be tried twice for the same crime barrier, Not Proven does not.
We are much more sensible in Scotland.


scholar - 27-9-2017 at 01:26

Not Guilty, in the U.S., means Not Proven Guilty--it certainly doesn't mean Innocent, only that the state did not prove guilt sufficiently to convince the deciding authority, whether jury or judge.


LSemmens - 27-9-2017 at 09:23

Therein lies the problem with double jeopardy rules. If the prosecutors do not do their job properly, a person, who may well be guilty as sin, may be found "Not Guilty", and, effectively, gets away with the crime. An innocent person who is found "Not Guilty" has the stigma of, "Perhaps the prosecutor did not do his job properly". At least with a "Not Proven" verdict, the stigma attached to the "Not Guilty" verdict is minimised.