moral certainty


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moral certainty

n. in a criminal trial, the reasonable belief (but falling short of absolute certainty) of the trier of the fact (jury or judge sitting without a jury) that the evidence shows the defendant is guilty. Moral certainty is another way of saying: "beyond a reasonable doubt." Since there is no exact measure of certainty it is always somewhat subjective and based on "reasonable" opinions of judge and/or jury. (See: verdict, beyond a reasonable doubt)

See: certitude
References in periodicals archive ?
He believed that the death penalty should be reinstated for first-degree murder cases when the government had established the defendant's guilt to a "moral certainty." See id.
There writes a man who, you might think, would have some reason to know what the word "fascist" means (hint: it's not "moral certainty" of which Mr.
Aspects of women's pacifist thought, particularly the echoes of separate spheres ideology and the moral certainty it suggests, are part of a Victorian world view.
But the CC activists' beans were clearly with Darrell Issa, a wealthy businessman who has made "moral certainty" and opposition to abortion central themes of his campaign.
Mary Shelley adopts and subverts Godwin's methods, as Brown had done, using the multiple first-person narrative to undermine any illusion of moral certainty; but she goes further than Brown in the uncompromising nature of her critique of revolutionary optimism.
Sandoval argued that this anachronistic vocabulary invited the jury to convict on constitutionally inadequate evidence or, worse, on the basis of prejudice strong enough to count as "moral certainty." Justice O'Connor expressed some concern that the "moral certainty" language might "mean something less than the very high level of probability required by the Constitution in criminal cases" (114 S.
They spoke about the futility of the courts, the brutality of the police, and their determination, regardless, to rescue "innocent babies" from "murder." It was familiar because their complaints and their moral certitude echoed the regular complaints and the moral certainty of the civil-rights movement.
They accept the standard of moral certitude set by hard objectivism but doubt to varying degrees whether such moral certainty can be rationally obtained.
It constantly moves up the scale toward "satisfied conscience," "moral certainty," and "beyond reasonable doubt," or down the scale toward "suspicion" or "opinion" because there is no fixed intermediate point at which to rest.
American Protestant fundamentalism-- with recent help from some conservative Catholic and some Orthodox Jewish allies--organizes its power around Judeo-Christian mysteries rather than Aryan myths, but the familiar point is to give moral certainty and historical hope to a part of society that feels marginal.
'In this case, accused's participation in the commission of the crime were not sufficiently proven with moral certainty,' the resolution, concurred by Associate Justices Ma.
"Clear and convincing evidence must be the gauge to consider it as having attained the degree of proof of guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt with moral certainty," his motion for reconsideration read.