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Burden Of Proof In A Criminal Trials

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The burden of proof is the duty of one party in a legal case that is required to convince the decision-maker (judge and/or jury) that their version of the facts is true. The burden of proof is carried by the prosecution in criminal trials. A criminal defendant is presumed innocent of the charges against them until they are proven guilty by the prosecution. The burden of proof is much greater in criminal trials than it is in civil trials, largely because there is much more at stake in a criminal trial, such as potential incarceration. The burden of proof in criminal trials requires that the prosecution demonstrate the defendant’s guilt for each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the judge or jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of each element of the crime in order to convict the defendant.

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