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How Does Reasonable Doubt Affect The Outcome of a Trial?

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How Does Reasonable Doubt Affect The Outcome of a Trial?

Hi, this is attorney Kevin Hayslett, and the question is what is the different types of defenses I can use if I am charged with a crime and how does reasonable doubt affect those defenses? Well you may recall in the American jurisprudence system it is the burden of the government to prove each person charged of a crime guilty beyond the exclusion of any and all reasonable doubt. Unlike the British system where there are three different types of verdicts, we have two verdicts.

In America, the two verdicts are:

1.    The person is guilty. 
2.    The person is not guilty.

In Britain, the three verdicts are:

1.    The person is guilty.
2.    The case is not proven.
3.    The person is innocent.

In the American system what that means is that the government must prove the accused guilty beyond the exclusion of any and all reasonable doubt. If it is not proven, meaning they failed to meet their burden, then the person must be found not guilty. The way that a jury gets its information is through its jury instructions and when the judge gives the information throughout the trial. At the beginning of the trial, the trial court or the judge will tell the jury it is the sole responsibility of the prosecution, or the government or the district attorneys’ office to prove the accused guilty beyond the exclusion of any and all reasonable doubt. If they fail to meet that burden, then the jury must find the defendant or the accused not guilty. This defense would be holding the government to their burden of proof or burden of proving the defendant is guilty beyond the exclusion of any and all reasonable doubt.
 

J. Kevin Hayslett

Kevin Hayslett, Esq.

J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.