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 ?
The uniquely Scottish verdict of "Not proven" was returned against Roberts.
All in all, we can only give the familiar Scottish verdict of "Not Proven" to the case being presented here.
In the absence of recent and reliable data, the safest conclusion is to fall back on the old Scottish verdict, "Case for deliberation not proven.
The crunch is whether the report will be definitive enough, either way, to warrant the ICC suspending Zimbabwe from all international cricket because the charges of racism are proven (in which case the England tour will be cancelled) or whether a Scottish verdict the other way is returned and that is where FICA come in.

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