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All the incoming links to this redirect are intended for the "burden of proof" meaning, not the album Reasonable Doubt, so this is clearly the more appropriate redirect. Slideshow Bob 19:35, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
- Even if so, there should still be a link on the burden of proof page to the album upon a redirect, especially since the album does have a page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 20:33, August 29, 2007 (UTC)
Beyond a reasonable doubt
In a criminal case the state must prove the critical facts of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The critical facts of a case are that the crime charged was committed and that the defendant is responsible for the commission of the crime. The critical facts of the case are often referred to as the elements of the case. Braodly speaking most elements fall in one of four categories: acts, circumstances, consequences and states of mind. For example, North Carolina has an offense of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. The act is assault; circumstances, with a deadly weapon; consequences, inflicting serious bodily injury and state of mind intent to kill. As stated the states has the responsibiity of establishing each of these elments from the evidence presented at trial and beyond a reasonable doubt. The word beyond means to the exclusion of. thus the state must exclude all reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt. Simply put if after considering all the evidence, the arguments of counsel and the court's instructions a juror has a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt it is the duty of the juror to return a verdict of not guilty. On the other hand if the juror does not have a reasonable doubt then the juror's duty is to return a verdict of guilty. --Jgard5000 (talk) 14:59, 21 July 2010 (UTC)jgard5000--Jgard5000 (talk) 14:59, 21 July 2010 (UTC) It is important to note that the word beyond does not carry its ordinary meaning of more than or facther than. The state clearly is not attempting to prove that there is more than a reasonable doubt.
Attempts to define or quantify reasonable doubt are fraught with danger. Courts have used terms such as fully satisfied or entirely convinced which arguably could be interpreted as requiring virtual certainty. Other courts have approved the use of phrases such as firmly convinced which may well understate the degree of proof.
The lead paragraph mentions the concept of a 'reasonable person' yet I was under the impression that this concept, though very important when assessing the actions of an accused, was not relevant to the concept of 'reasonable doubt' inasmuch as the latter relates only to the reasoning and judgment of the jury. In other words, the jury members must consider their own personal level of doubt and assess whether it exceeds the threshold represented by "beyond (a) reasonable doubt".
There is no need (and it would be improper) to think about the evidence in terms of the 'reasonable person' and what such a person might or might not think about the matter at hand. Alternatively, one might say that the jury is not intended to be a collection of 'reasonable people', rather a jury is made up of one's peers (reasonable or otherwise).
Does anyone have a good/reliable reference to clarify this point? — RB Ostrum. 03:41, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Lead needs improvement
Reasonable doubt is a term used in jurisdiction of Anglo-Saxon countries. Evidence that is beyond reasonable doubt is the standard of evidence required to validate a criminal conviction in most adversarial legal systems.
First, I would argue that "jurisdiction" should be "the jurisprudence". Second, rather than "Anglo-Saxon countries", it should say something more along the lines of "countries with legal systems derived from (or influenced by) English common law".
Next, the use of the word "evidence" is problematic for the general reader and "standard of evidence" is an easter egg hiding "burden of proof". I am aware that "reasonable doubt" has a long history of being a difficult concept to define but this formulation leaves much to be desired. For the general reader, "evidence" will be more likely associated with individual pieces of physical evidence or witness testimony and will not be taken as equal to "the prosecution's entire presentation". Adding the word "beyond" to get "beyond reasonable doubt" turns the phrase into a legal formulation with its own problematic history.
The reference given is also unsatisfactory. Grechenig, Nicklisch & Thoeni, Punishment Despite Reasonable Doubt - A Public Goods Experiment with Sanctions under Uncertainty, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (JELS) 2010, vol. 7 (4), p. 847-867 http://ssrn.com/abstract=1733792 (ssrn). This appears to just be a random legal studies paper investigating an aspect of the subject, but is not necessarily as authoritative as a legal dictionary or other textbook would be. It's also behind a paywall and I think that the reference used to support the fundamental statement about the subject should be more readily accessible.