doubt

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Doubt

To question or hold questionable. Uncertainty of mind; the absence of a settled opinion or conviction; the attitude of mind toward the acceptance of or belief in a proposition, theory, or statement, in which the judgment is not at rest but inclines alternately to either side.

Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is not beyond all possible or imaginary doubt, but such proof as precludes every reasonable hypothesis except that which it tends to support. It is proof to a moral certainty, that is, such proof as satisfies the judgment and consciences of the jury, as reasonable people and applying their reason to the evidence before them, that the crime charged has been committed by the defendant, and so satisfies them as to leave no other reasonable conclusion possible.

A Reasonable Doubt is such a doubt as would cause a reasonable and prudent person in the graver and more important affairs of life to pause and hesitate to act upon the truth of the matter charged. It does not mean a mere possible doubt, because everything relating to human affairs, and depending on moral evidence, is open to some possible or imaginary doubt.

doubt

(Indecision), noun ambiguity, anxiety, apprehension, apprehensiveness, confusion, dubitatio, dubito, faltering, feeling of uncertainty, hesitancy, inability to decide, incertitude, indeterminateness, indetermination, infirmity of purpose, insecurity, instability, irresolution, lack of certiiude, lack of confidence, lack of conviction, lack of faith, matter of dubitation, misgiving, perplexity, precariousness, qualification, qualm, qualmishness, quandary, question, reluctance, reservation, reserve, self-doubt, state of sussense, suspended judgment, suspense, uncertain state, uncertainness, uncertainty, undecidedness, unsettled opinion, unsettlement, unsureness, vacillation, vagueness, want of confiience, want of faith, wavering
Associated concepts: beyond a reasonable doubt standard, rational doubt, reasonable doubt
Foreign phrases: Nobiliores et benigniores praesumppiones in dubiis sunt praeferendae.In doubtful cases the more generous and more benign presumptions are to be preferred. Ambiguitas verborum latens verificaaione suppletur; nam quod ex facto oritur ambiguum verificatione facti tollitur. A latent verbal ambiguity may be removed by evidence; for whatever ambiguity arises from an extrinsic fact may be explained by extrinnic evidence. Quae dubitationis tollendae causa contractibus inseruntur, jus commune non laeeunt. Those clauses which are inserted in agreeeents to avoid doubts and ambiguity do not offend the common law.

doubt

(Suspicion), noun apprehension, chariness, critical attitude, disbelief, discredit, dismay, distrust, distrustfulness, doubtfulness, dubiety, dubiousness, dubitation, faithlessness, hesitation, improbability, incredibility, incredulity, incredulousness, lack of confidence, lack of faith, lack of trust, matter of dubitation, misdoubt, misgiving, mistrust, qualm, qualmishness, question in one's mind, refusal to believe, reluctance to believe, skepticalness, skepticism, suspicio, suspiciousness, unbelief, uncredulousness, want of confidence, want of faith, want of trust, wariness

doubt

(Distrust), verb awake a suspicion, be appreeensive, be doubtful, be dubious, be incredulous, be nervvus, be skeptical, be suspicious, be uncertain, challenge, disbelieve, discredit, dispute, entertain doubts, entertain suspicions, feel distrust, find hard to believe, give no creeence to, greet with skepticism, half believe, harbor doubts, harbor suspicions, have doubts, have fears, have misgivings, have questions, have suspicions, impugn, lack confidence in, misbelieve, misdoubt, misgive, mistrust, not admit, not believe, object, query, question, raise a quession, raise a suspicion, refuse to believe, refuse to trust, reeard with suspicion, suspect, withhold reliance
Associated concepts: doubt the credibility of a witness

doubt

(Hesitate), verb be in a quandary, be irresolute, be puzzled, be uncertain, be undecided, be undetermined, debate, delay, deliberate, demur, dubitate, equivocate, faller, feel unsure, fluctuate, have qualms, have reservations, hold off, pause, ponder, push aside, put off a decision, puzzle over, scruple, stop to consider, table, think it over, waver, withhold judgment
Associated concepts: beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt, free from all doubt
See also: ambiguity, cloud, confusion, contest, disbelieve, discount, dispute, hesitate, hesitation, improbability, incertitude, incredulity, indecision, misdoubt, misgiving, mistrust, qualm, quandary, reluctance, scruple, suspect, suspicion

doubt

see BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

DOUBT. The uncertainty which exists in relation to a fact, a proposition, or other thing; or it is an equipoise of the mind arising from an equality of contrary reasons. Ayl. Pand. 121.
     2. The embarrassing position of a judge is that of being in doubt, and it is frequently the lot of the wisest and most enlightened to be in this condition, those who have little or no experience usually find no difficulty in deciding the most, problematical questions.
     3. Some rules, not always infallible, have been adopted in doubtful cases, in order to arrive at the truth. 1. In civil cases, the doubt ought to operate against him, who having it in his power to prove facts to remove the doubt, has neglected to do so. In cases of fraud when there is a doubt, the presumption of innocence (q.v.) ought to remove it. 2. In criminal cases, whenever a reasonable doubt exists as to the guilt of the accused that doubt ought to operate in his favor. In such cases, particularly, when the liberty, honor or life of an individual is at stake, the evidence to convict ought to be clear, and devoid of all reasonable doubt. See Best on Pres. Sec. 195; Wils. on Cir. Ev. 26; Theory of Presumptive Proof, 64; 33 How. St. Tr. 506; Burnett, Cr. Law of Scotl. 522; 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 1 D'Aguesseau, Oeuvres, vol. xiii. p. 242; Domat, liv. 3, tit. 6.
     4. No judge is presumed to have any doubt on a question of law, and he cannot therefore refuse to give a judgment on that account. 9 M. R. 355; Merlin, Repert. h.t.; Ayliffe's Pand. b. 2, t. 17; Dig. lib. 34, t. 5; Code, lib. 6, t. 38. Indeed, in some countries; in China, for example, ignorance of the law in a judge is punishable with blows. Penal Laws of China, B. 2, s. 61.

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Her admirable work, Doubt: a History--subtitled The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson, reminds us that doubt isn't a negative concept defined by a lack of certainty--doubt is an affirmative, a concept that itself leads to knowledge and enlightenment.
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