Reasonable Doubt (part 1)

Reasonable Doubt

The phrase “reasonable doubt” is central to our criminal justice system. Judges will instruct a jury that a reasonable doubt is not an imaginary, far-fetched or frivolous doubt. It is, instead, a doubt based on reason and common sense. It is not a doubt based on sympathy for or prejudice against anyone, including the accused. Reasonable doubt usually arises naturally from the evidence, or the absence of evidence. Proof of the commission of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt does not extend to proof to an absolute certainty. In non-legalistic terms, proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt requires that the Judge or jury making the decision must be satisfied that the guilt of the accused has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Consequently, if the Judge or jury are not sure that the accused is guilty, they are required to find the accused not guilty of the crime alleged.

(see part 2)

Canadian Criminal Procedure by Patrick J Ducharme

The above is the an excerpt of Patrick J Ducharme’s book, Canadian Criminal Procedure, available at Amazon or in bulk through MedicaLegal Publishing along with Criminal Trial Strategies.

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