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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
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.
Relatives wept and hurled abuse at Sean Flynn, 21, as the jury returned a not proven verdict at the end of his 22-day trial.
Stephen Coxen, of Bury in Lancashire, denied the charges and in November 2015 a jury acquitted him on a not proven verdict.
McGraw had been accused of helping to mastermind a drugs run from Spain's Costa Del Sol - but walked free after the jury returned a not proven verdict.
Even John Leslie, cleared on a not proven verdict in June of sexually assaulting a woman in an Edinburgh nightclub, turned up.
Francis Auld left Scotland in the mid-1990s after walking free from the High Court on a controversial not proven verdict.
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.
Despite prosecutors believing they had enough evidence to prove he was abducting the girls with the intention of sexually assaulting them, a not proven verdict was returned by the jury on Thursday.
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.