I LIKE the not proven verdict. Historically Scottish jurors pronounced verdicts of proven and not proven. Guilty and not guilty became more common but the not proven verdict lingered on. In modern times the not proven verdict has a different meaning.

READ MORE: Justice Secretary scrutinising Scotland's 'not proven' verdict

Presently, with this verdict the jury have the choice of saying, in effect, “we think you are guilty but the prosecution has not produced enough evidence to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt”. It does not mean the accused is guiltless, even though he or she may go free. To victims or the families of victims a not proven verdict is far preferable in the event of the failure of the prosecution than a not guilty verdict.

Mike Herd

THE essential verdicts should revert to being proven and not proven. This makes it clear that it is the prosecutor’s job to prove the case, and not for the accused to prove otherwise. This different wording from that commonly used in the dramatic arts may also focus attention on evidence and logic rather than being swayed by rhetoric and performance.

Ray H
via thenational.scot