not proven

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not proven

the verdict in a Scottish criminal trial that amounts to an acquittal but that is not the same as the verdict of NOT GUILTY. In the 17th century, practice developed such that the jury found facts alleged by the prosecution either proven or not proven, and it was then for the judge to convert this to an appropriate level of guilt. In 1728, however, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty, leaving thereafter three verdicts available. The consensus appears to be that the not proven verdict is available where there is insufficient evidence to convict but suspicion still attaches to the accused. Whether or not this is satisfactory is often debated.
References in periodicals archive ?
And in June, William Barclay got a not proven verdict at the High Court in Edinburgh when he was accused of attempting to kill Mark Bristow in a gangland attack.
Though in another life I do work occasionally as a criminal lawyer, and have done a few trials in my time, and have actually had a couple of, ahem, Not Proven verdicts.
Labour MSP Michael McMahon plans to introduce a Member's Bill in the Scottish Parliament this year to scrap the not proven verdict.
Criminal justice expert Professor Peter Duff, of Aberdeen University, who wants the not proven verdict abolished, said: "The main difficulty in sexual offences is that juries don't believe the complainer or are reluctant to convict primarily on the complainer's word.
Auld's acquittal of the 19-year-old drama student's murder sparked a national debate about the not proven verdict but a campaign to have it scrapped was unsuccessful.
There were gasps from the public gallery as George Johnstone, 43, was told by the jury at the High Court in Glasgow that they had decided on a not proven verdict.
We should have included a comment from the General Teaching Council for Scotland who believed one of his alleged victims had been raped despite Boyle's trial ending in a not proven verdict.
The 40-year-old mum wept and said: "Thank you so much," to the jury, who acquitted her on a not proven verdict of murdering one-year-old Alexander Graham.
But after a 22-day hearing, a jury returned a not proven verdict.
He served five years before being cleared on a not proven verdict at a retrial, ordered after judges ruled he was not properly represented at the first.
As babysitter Tina McLeod thanked the jury for her freedom by the cruel default of a not proven verdict, the Graham's were hit with a sense of betrayal in the justice system.