22 September 2010

Innocent until Proven Guilty

In Malaysia, like all Commonwealth Countries, the Criminal Justice system is run on the premise that the Accused is Innocent Until Proven Guilty. The Onus is on the Prosecutor to prove the Guilt of the Accused.

And many would have heard the phrase that the Prosecutor must prove a person's guilt" beyond reasonable doubt". What this phrase "beyond reasonable doubt" basically means is that the Prosecutor must tender in Evidences that would strongly suggest that the Accused before the Court, is in fact the person guilty of the crime accused. If there is any reasonable doubt, the Court cannot convict the Accused.

The reason for this? Well, the Criminal Justice system is administered to not convict the innocent. As William Blackstone once said, "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".

This system ensures that the Police and Prosecutor will continue to work fairly and hard to catch the right person and charge the right person. If the standard to convict a person is low, then it may lead to a system where the Police or Prosecutor will do a flimsy job as it would be easy to convict a person.

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