Reasons To Disagree
What a joke - like a plea bargain of 'guilty' actually means you did the crime? Just as pleas may mean nothing, verdicts can be equally dubious. 'Insufficient evidence'=not guilty, but doesn't mean 'Innocent'
New Zealand does not differentiate between "not guilty" and "innocent". This is a shame, because mud sticks, and "not guilty due to lack of evidence" is quite different to "innocent of all crimes charged".
Not guilty, in NZ, means not proven beyond reasonable doubt. It does not mean innocent, which would be a factual matter which may not be provable in a court.
No - it means that there is insufficient evidence to convict - or some smart-arse lawyer has found a loop-hole. However the party ought to be then TREATED as though innocent. But there's no reason not to re-try should further evidence come to light.
Take, for example, the Louise Nicholas and that other woman, Whatsername, rape case. I don't think those three men, Clint rickards, Bob Schollum, Brad Shipton, were innocent. I think they were as guilty as sin.
But under New Zealand law, as my mother said, knowing something and proving it are two different things.
A not guilty verdict means that the proescuters tried their best but did not have the evidence to prove beyond doubt. This does not mean someone is innocent. I would guess in most cases the person probably was guilty in reality, so i think its important that the mud sticks. If reputation is important to the defendent, they should probably be entitled to some legal aid for some kind of "innocence hearing"... but if they can't prove their innocence, then its tough luck for them, be thankful they're not in jail.
Bring in the "not proven" alternative in exceptional circumstances.
i think this is the most stupid question ever
lets turn it around. if you were proven guilty would that mean you did it or maybe the odds were just stacked against you.
I have just been through a trial where my ex partner was charged with injuring with intent (he broke two of my ribs and stamped on me leaving a foot print shaped bruise on my thigh). It galls me that prior incidences of domestic violence inflicted on myself and another victim couldn't be raised ? surely this ?evidence? would have assisted with proving beyond reasonable doubt what he is capable of? We all knew he had beaten me but were hamstrung by the law/justice system?s requirement we prove beyond a reasonable doubt he did it. It felt like the trial came down to a 'beauty' contest and the charming bold face liar was believed over the less eloquent 'victim'. Not guilty in this situation definitely doesn?t mean innocent. What this verdict does though is create a monster who feels his behaviour has been condoned and leaves us waiting to see how long it is before he does it again ?.
Reasons To Agree
Natural justice demands that a Not Guilty verdict means a person is treated as innocent of the charge. It may be desirable to copy Scottish rather than English law and have a third option Not Proven, which allows a case to be reopened.
We give our courts the power to rule over us. If they find us "not guilty" then we would not be hanged for that crime... someone who gets tried for a crime but not hanged to me is innocent.