View Poll Results: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

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  • Yes, "innocent" would be a welcome addition as an option.

    11 28.95%
  • No, but we should treat "not guilty" as "innocent".

    7 18.42%
  • No, the current system works fine. ('Splain yerself, Lucy)

    18 47.37%
  • Something else.

    2 5.26%
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Thread: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

  1. #101
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Not guilty implies "we didn't meet the burden of proof"
    Innocent would mean "you clearly didn't do this and this case should have never been brought to court"
    Say you were sent to trial for a murder you didn't commit. You lose your job because of this. You are found, under the current system, "not guilty". But it is not a "didn't meet burden of proof" not guilty" but a "you didn't do anything" not guilty. There is no way to distinguish between them on paper. Imagine how that would look when you try and look for a job. You would much rather they had "innocent" instead of "not guilty".
    -Teenager who graduates high school in 2015

  2. #102
    Sage

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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    In the event of certainty, like you were in the hospital or out of the country or whatever or other means where there is no factual doubt then I think the entire eposode should be erased.

    But it has to be "beyond any doubt".
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  3. #103
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Ok, so if the jury starts at "innocent", and never sees any evidence that is persuasive enough to sway them from "innocent", not even to the next step of "not guilty" (aka "not proven"), why shouldn't they be allowed to render such a verdict?

    (I'm going to bed, but will pick this up tomorrow.)
    Nighty night.

    Because, one more time, they are not seeking to PROVE he is innocent, only looking to see if the STATE has proven otherwise. They are only presuming innocence for the purposes of evidentiary fact determination. The state may not have all the facts, the jury is only bound to consider what the state has presented. The Defendant might be guilty, but managed to get rid of the most damning evidence. Who knows?

    If you want the Jury to decide if the Defendant is actually innocent then we go back to my original explanation in post #91. Hopefully you have a better understanding now of why, if the jury is determining actual innocence the burden would be on the Defendant to prove beyond ALL doubt he did not do it. That's really very hard to do without incontrovertile evidence, in which case he would never have been proscuted in the first place. However, if as in most cases there is a question of guilt, the defendant faces this impossible burden completely dependant on his own poor resources against the might of the State.

    I wonder how that works out in those nations where you are guilty until proven innocent....
    Last edited by Captain Adverse; 07-24-13 at 02:22 AM.
    If I stop responding it doesn't mean I've conceded the point or agree with you. It only means I've made my point and I don't mind you having the last word. Please wait a few minutes before "quoting" me. I often correct errors for a minute or two after I post before the final product is ready.

  4. #104
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Why? How would adding "innocent" as an option upset anything?
    "Innocent" is the presumption. If not found guilty, one is innocent. Proof of innocence is never needed except that proving innocence pretty much defeats the advocates of guilty.

    Frankly, its silly idea. Finding someone innocent would have similar high standards of proof (likely reasonable doubt) that a jury would likely not have a basis to come to as the evidence and debate in court is about guilt. What difference does it make, anyway?

    Only Perry Mason worries about proving his client is innocent; otherwise the task is a waste of everyone's time.

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