Essay On Presumption Of Innocence

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In 1979, Justice Stewart, Brennan and Marshall insisted that “No principle is more firmly established in our system of criminal justice than the presumption of innocence that is accorded to the defendant in every criminal trial.” Furthermore, the “Blackstone ratio” of 10”:1 that “the law holds that it is better than ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer” was upheld in Coffin v U.S. where Justice White quoted a Roman official who wrote that “it was better to let the crime of a guilty person go unpunished than to condemn the innocent.” This shows that the presumption of innocence plays a significant role in criminal law as the outcome of wrongful conviction is regarded as a significantly worse harm than wrongful acquittal. Hence, the responsibility falls on the state to produce evidence of guilt, and not for the accused to prove innocent. In Taylor v Kentucky, the presumption of innocence of a criminal defendant is best…show more content…
This presumption protects the liberty of every individuals including the accused. In civil cases, the burden falls on the claimant to prove on the balance of probabilities whereas in criminal cases, the legal burden falls on the prosecution to prove the guilt of accused beyond reasonable doubt. Whereas for defences such as provocation (Mancini v DPP ), self-defence (Rv Lobell ), duress (R v Gill ), non-insane automatism (Bratty v AG for Northern Ireland ) and alibi, the accused has an evidential burden to adduce evidence. Once the defence is valid, the burden is then falls on the prosecution to negative the defence beyond a reasonable
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