Presumption of Innocence

Topics: Legal burden of proof, Criminal law, Judge Pages: 3 (939 words) Published: July 27, 2012

Presumption of innocence is awarded to the defendant in any court proceedings, as stated in the due process clause of the fifth and fourteenth Amendment. The principle dictates that each and every person is assumed innocent until proven otherwise. This principle is considered in many countries and it becomes the responsibility of the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt in the court room. If the prosecution fails in providing evidence, reasonable doubt remains and the defendant is set free on that basis. The principle ensures that innocent people are not jail. Historical Background

Jean Lemoine created the principle of presumption of innocence with the aim of protecting the defendant, based on the notion that many people are not guilty. This principle requires the judge to start by believing that the prosecution cannot prove its accusations. The principle means that: the accuser has the entire yoke of substantiation; the accused does not need to prove anything and the judge or jury should not get any negative conclusions from the accusations made by the prosecution against the defendant. All these presumptions known to as the golden thread, dictate that the verdict should be made solely from the evidence presented by the prosecution.

It is the duty of the judge in ant criminal court to ensure that, there is a balance between the principle and the evidence presented by the prosecution. It is a hard task but a necessity in accordance with the law. The U.S Supreme court has stated that this principle, in absence of any evidence of guilt in the part of the defendant, becomes the assumption of innocence. The judge is required to ensure that this principle is not considered as proof of innocence of the accused and that it does not need an obligatory conclusion in favor of the accused. It is the responsibility...
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