Proving the Crime September 25, 2007 Objectives: Students should understand Key Characteristics of the Criminal Trial Presumption of Innocence most fundamental.
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Presentation on theme: "Proving the Crime September 25, 2007 Objectives: Students should understand Key Characteristics of the Criminal Trial Presumption of Innocence most fundamental."— Presentation transcript:
Objectives: Students should understand Key Characteristics of the Criminal Trial Presumption of Innocence most fundamental value and relationship to criminal burden and standard of proof Difference between evidentiary and legal burden Meaning/ Significance of Reasonable Doubt
Key Characteristics of the Criminal Trial Based on the adversary system The Presumption of Innocence Separate functions of Judge and Jury The Evidentiary Burden and Legal Burden
The Adversary System Judge remains passive and receives the evidence Evidence called by the two parties: the state and the accused individual or corporation Parties have stake in outcome, present evidence that will benefit their position Trials not an accurate representation of the past Evidence must be relevant and material
The Presumption of Innocence: Most Important Principle Based in common law and in s. 11(d) of the Charter Crown must present evidence to displace this presumption beyond a reasonable doubt, a heavy burden Accused need not disprove anything and need not testify
Presumption of Innocence: most important value (cont.) Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by the state Role of the Crown (state) to bring about justice, not to convict No retroactive criminal law (See Section 11(g) Charter) Section 9 says that there are no common law crimes, must be written down S. 8 accused gets benefit of common law defences
Judge/Jury Functions Jury is the trier of fact(ie what happened, who is to be believed) Judge is the trier of law (eg is evidence admissible) Decisions of fact almost never appealable Decisions about law may be appealed Judge gives jury instruction on the law Often trier of fact and law is the same individual (ie no jury, therefore judge performs both functions)
The Two Types of Burdens: Evidentiary and Legal Evidentiary Burden is initially with the Crown: Is there evidence to support the case going to the trier of fact? In law, accused should not be in jeopardy because the Crown has not put forward any evidence At the end of the Crown’s case, defence can make a “ no evidence” motion
Evidentiary Burden (cont.) If not, “no evidence motion” granted, jury is instructed to acquit Issue: this is a question of law. What are the implications? Issue: What does this say about confidence in the jury? Test: Is there enough evidence on each element of the offence for a reasonable jury, properly instructed, to convict?
Evidentiary Burden(cont) In practical terms, evidentiary burden shifts between Crown and defence throughout the trial
Legal Burden Crown must persuade the trier of fact that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt If there is a reasonable doubt, the accused is not guilty Based in the Presumption of Innocence Burden remains with the Crown throughout
Legal Burden(cont.) Crown must prove both physical aspects (actus reus) and mental aspects (mens rea) beyond a reasonable doubt) Accused never has to disprove anything When accused raises a defence, Crown must prove beyond a reasonable that the defence is not valid Exception:mental disorder!!!!!
What does a jury need to know about reasonable doubt? Lifchus: Not an ordinary concept Not moral certainty No other adjectives appropriate Not based on probability Based on reason and evidence Linked to presumption of innocence
What does a jury need to know about reasonable doubt? But particular words “magic incantation” not necessary Reversible only when as a whole, jury was reasonably likely to misunderstand burden or standard
What does a jury need to know about reasonable doubt? What does Starr add? Consider Majority and Dissent