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. #61
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    They shouldn't be, that's another liberal trick for getting around the Constitution. Once you're acquitted, you're done and you shouldn't be able to be sued at all for the same crime. This country is going right down the liberal toilet.
    It's two types of different cases. It's not a double jeopardy situation...

    A criminal case...is decided "beyond reasonable doubt" based on evidence.

    However...

    A civil case is decided on the "preponderance of the evidence", which means that "a person is more likely than not" based on the evidence...to have caused injury...or even death and is therefore liable for whatever is decided punitive damages (usually in dollars) are by a judge...or jury.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    legally speaking, "not guilty" is the same as "innocent"... it's pretty basic.

    there's only one way not to be found "innocent"... and that way is the state proving you're guilty.
    to add in an actual "innocent" verdict is unnecessary and diminishes the "not guilty" verdict.
    You're already presumed innocent anyway, so the OP question doesn't make sense. It has to be guilty or not guilty.

  3. #63
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    well lets look at OJ. The state could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt (actually they did-that was a complete joke of a trial and a judge and a jury but since I believe its better 10 scumbags go free than one innocent man hang I can live with it) but the Father of the slain boy could prove that it was more likely than not that OJ knifed his son.

    you see, and I don't want to bore you with lectures of Issue Preclusion or Collateral Estoppel, it would be unfair to Mr Goldman to be prevented from suing OJ for a tort (wrongful death) due to the outcome of a trial where he was unable to present his case or call his own witnesses
    I agree the OJ trial was a travesty. And I don't disagree that the Goldman family did not receive justice at the criminal trial. But...

    ...while I have no links handy to show, it's not unreasonable to presume that the opposite has happened as well. Scenarios where an innocent person is rightfully acquitted, then sued in civil court and found guilty (or, liable) according to a new jury and a lowered standard of evidence. That's not justice, either.

    We see the high-profile examples in the media, the emotional examples, but the law should be consistent, not subject to emotionalization, and I believe that allowing further prosecution is an emotional response. Basically, it's the system saying, "We're going to hound you to the end of the earth because we *know* you're guilty."
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  4. #64
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    I have to disagree. two different parties

    two different standards of proof.
    So if you fail at one, you might as well give it a shot with the other? It's still double jeopardy.
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Removable Mind View Post
    It's two types of different cases. It's not a double jeopardy situation...

    A criminal case...is decided "beyond reasonable doubt" based on evidence.

    However...

    A civil case is decided on the "preponderance of the evidence", which means that "a person is more likely than not" based on the evidence...to have caused injury...or even death and is therefore liable for whatever is decided punitive damages (usually in dollars) are by a judge...or jury.
    Whether it's two different types of cases, the individual is still being tried twice for the same crime. It's double jeopardy no matter how you spin it.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    well lets look at OJ. The state could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt (actually they did-that was a complete joke of a trial and a judge and a jury but since I believe its better 10 scumbags go free than one innocent man hang I can live with it) but the Father of the slain boy could prove that it was more likely than not that OJ knifed his son.

    you see, and I don't want to bore you with lectures of Issue Preclusion or Collateral Estoppel, it would be unfair to Mr Goldman to be prevented from suing OJ for a tort (wrongful death) due to the outcome of a trial where he was unable to present his case or call his own witnesses
    Also it is unfair for an individual to be prevented from filing suit due to the State's incompetence.
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    So if you fail at one, you might as well give it a shot with the other?
    No, it's two different parties in two different cases, as he said. Ergo, it's not the same "you".

    If one person/party fails at one thing, that should not prevent another party from doing some other thing. Trying to pretend it's one party using two different paths to reach the same goal won't change the actual reality of the situation: two different parties engaging in two different actions.
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Whether it's two different types of cases, the individual is still being tried twice for the same crime. It's double jeopardy no matter how you spin it.
    It's not the same crime. In one, there is no crime at all.
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  9. #69
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by iacardsfan View Post
    And in theory adding "innocent" will help but in reality people minds are made up, and the verdict, whether it be guilty, not guilty, or innocent isn't going to change each individuals perception. By your logic we need to add "clearly guilty" verdict to persuade all those who believe that they should be acquitted to believing he/she is a criminal. Nothing we do is going to change the tunnel vision Americans have. Once they have the blinders on and decide something no manipulation of words is going to alter that opinion.
    What you said is entirely true. But I think the main point of having an ability to pronounce someone "Innnocent" isn't so much for the armchair lawyers as it is for the legal system itself. As stated in the OP it is to prevent civil suits that are made in order to further hurt the person in which some people believe is guilty no matter what the verdict was. The example given was a case in which Z defended himself against an aggressor and as such should not be further punished by never ending court battles.

    Guilty would equal prison time obviously
    Not guilty would equal "no actual 100% proof was given but the circumstantial evidence is enough to make it seem likely the person did commit the crime, just not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. This leaves people up for civil suits and where possible further prosecution for a different charge/crime.
    Innocent would equal just that..innocent and leave him/her the hell alone unless the commit an entirely new crime.
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    Re: Should "innocent" be an option as a verdict in criminal trials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Why change something that isn't at a problem at all?

    The system is not designed to prove innocence. The system is not designed to influence public opinion. The system is designed to prosecute suspected criminals, who are presumed by the system to be innocent until proven guilty.

    The key word the whole time is "system".

    Individual people are free to think some mother ****er is guilty, regardless of the verdict, and they are free to think a mother ****er is innocent regardless of the verdict. Their opinions are not bound, in any way shape or form, by the outcomes in a court of law. That's where civil cases come into play. And even if someone is not guilty (or innocent if that term floats your boat better) of a crime, they can certainly still be legally culpable for damages in some way.
    The OJ Simpson case is a prime example of this.

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