Rounded Corner

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Rounded Corner

INNOCENT vs NOT GUILTY

In every criminal trial the onus is always on the Crown to prove guilt. The standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If a person accused of committing a crime is found “not guilty” (whether by a Judge alone or a jury) it means (and only means) the Crown has not proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It is NOT a declaration of innocence. The two are very different things and the difference is important. For example, in the Forcillo case the finding of not guilty with respect to the first 3 gun shots should not be interpreted that the jury found the shooting to be justified. No such finding was open to the jury. The verdict means that the Crown did not prove Forcillo was guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Period.

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