Hypothesis

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Hypothesis

An assumption or theory.

During a criminal trial, a hypothesis is a theory set forth by either the prosecution or the defense for the purpose of explaining the facts in evidence. It also serves to set up a ground for an inference of guilt or innocence, or a showing of the most probable motive for a criminal offense.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.