History Main / NotProven

18th May '16 5:12:06 AM BigKlingy
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** One case of ''VisualNovel/DaiGyakutenSaiban'' involves this, but in a twist [[spoiler: it's your client who gets off on this... right as Ryunosuke (Phoenix's ancestor) starts thinking he may guilty after all. Unfortunately, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero he's done such a good job defending him that the judge and jury feel there isn't enough evicence to be certain of the defendant's guilt]], and the trial ends in a Not Guilty verdict. Turns out he ''is'' guilty after all... [[KarmaHoudiniWarranty but he's promptly murdered right after he walks free.]]]]
24th Apr '16 10:42:04 PM MsChibi
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Kira directs Raye Penber's attention to an ordinary-looking man mopping the floor at a Starbucks-like coffee shop, explaining that this man has faced rape charges multiple times, but each time, he walked because there wasn't enough evidence to convict him. Kira then kills the man via his usual HollywoodHeartAttack method right in front of Raye's eyes, to show him that he ''is'' Kira, and he won't hesitate to do likewise to Raye [[HostageSituation if he doesn't cooperate]].
[[/folder]]
3rd Jan '16 9:46:54 AM TotemicHero
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This entry is named after the third possible verdict in the Scottish legal system, which the legal system treats as "innocent" and [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion public opinion typically treats as "guilty"]].

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This entry is named after How this works out depends on where the third possible story is set. In a American-based story, if the main protagonists are law enforcement officials and the like, you can usually expect them to find some new piece of evidence or get a confession that allows them to proceed with the conviction. If the story is more focused on the culprits or is bleaker in outlook, the verdict will effectively be found innocent, leading to a clear-cut case of KarmaHoudini.

This trope takes on different meaning
in a large number of non-U.S. countries (including Scotland, whose courtroom laws serve as the Scottish legal system, which TropeNamer), where the legal system treats principle of double jeopardy isn't observed. This means that the criminal could ostensibly be brought to trial again at a later point, if new evidence was found. Thus, it isn't quite as "innocent" and [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion public opinion typically treats as "guilty"]].
dramatic in works set in those regions of the world.
3rd Jan '16 7:41:14 AM shimaspawn
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3rd Jan '16 7:40:44 AM shimaspawn
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The investigators put the evidence together, find out who did it and then realise that the perp is going to get off scot-free because the evidence won't convict them. This typically involves something being excluded from the trial, so that the audience is in no doubt about the suspect's guilt.

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The investigators put the evidence together, find out who did it it, and then realise that the perp is going to get gets off scot-free because the evidence won't isn't enough to convict them. them in court. This typically involves something being excluded from the trial, or seeing the crime happen on screen so that the audience is in no doubt about the suspect's guilt.



Originally, the two verdicts open to a Scots jury were the standard "guilty" and "not guilty". However, in the 17th century, the Scottish Crown faced a rebellion by a small sect of Protestants, called [[TheFundamentalist the Covenanters]]. Such was the brutality of the Crown's crackdown, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Scottish juries refused to pass judgements of "guilty" upon Covenanters in protest.]] To combat this, Scottish judges [[RulesLawyer replaced the jury's role as pronouncers of guilt with that of finders-of-fact]] -- the jury was asked to rule on specific factual allegations against the accused, and rule only that they were "proven" and "not proven". This persisted until the 1728 case of ''Carnegie of Findhaven'', where Mr Carnegie was accused of killing the Earl of Strathmore. However, the circumstances persuaded the jury that it was an accident.[[note]]Which, under modern Scots law, it bloody well wasn't -- Carnegie was very drunk and ''had'' meant to murder another man who had pushed him into a ditch (where a combination of sucking mud and his own drunkenness would have killed him if not for the timely actions of the Earl and his servants). The Earl "stepping in to prevent any Mischief that might happen, received from Finhaven a mortal Wound, about an Inch below his Navel, which wounded his Puddings in three Parts, and went quite thorow his Body".[[/note]] To prevent his client from hanging, his lawyer, Robert Dundas, persuaded the jury to re-assert "its ancient right" to pronounce a verdict of "not guilty", thus preventing Carnegie from hanging but still accepting that he performed the acts libelled. With time, the "proven" verdict fell into desuetude[[note]]Posh lawyer-speak for "fell out of use"[[/note]] and so the system is where it is now. The "Scots verdict" is sometimes translated as "Not guilty and don't do it again", which is why some Scots lawyers want to get rid of it and the stigma it can attach to clients. Worse, because it puts the accused at no legal disadvantage, it cannot be appealed against, so someone is "not proven" in perpetuity.

Note that while the formal "not proven" verdict is only available in Scotland, this doesn't quite capture the whole picture. For instance Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)[[note]]At the time. A famous moderate, he became a Democrat in 2009 with the encouragement of his close friend UsefulNotes/JoeBiden.[[/note]] tried to vote "Not Proven" in UsefulNotes/BillClinton's impeachment trial; Chief Justice Rehnquist (who was presiding per the Constitution's rules for presidential impeachment) recorded his votes as "not guilty." This is justifiable in that in American law, "not guilty" means "not proven". It does not mean innocent, whether or not the defendant really is innocent. It's up to the government to prove someone broke the law. If they can't, they go free. This tends to lead to ConvictedByPublicOpinion in higher profile cases, where unless a new perp is brought up people (and the media) will tend to assume a defendant only went free because the courts were unable to prove they did it. Legally, not guilty is considered innocent, although you can be sued in civil courts (where the standard of proof is lower and where your previous "not guilty" verdict does ''not'' act as a defense) and the government can still seize your property even if you are found not guilty. They can also sometimes charge you with "civil rights" violations, as well.[[note]]For instance, during the Civil Rights movement in the American South, there were numerous instances of whites murdering blacks and being acquitted of murder (a State crime) by [[JokerJury all-white juries]] despite being obviously guilty, and even bragging about it in some cases. Desiring to punish them one way or another, the Federal government would then try them for violating the victim's civil rights (a Federal crime) by murdering them.[[/note]] And of course, [[WeAllLiveInAmerica we don't all live in America]], and in many European jurisdictions (including Scotland) double jeopardy is not observed and you can be tried ''again'' if new and damning evidence comes to light suggesting your guilt. Isn't the law fun?
7th Dec '15 3:41:18 PM margdean56
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Originally, the two verdicts open to a Scots jury were the standard "guilty" and "not guilty". However, in the 17th century, the Scottish Crown faced a rebellion by a small sect of Protestants, called [[TheFundamentalist the Convenanters]]. Such was the brutality of the Crown's crackdown, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Scottish juries refused to pass judgements of "guilty" upon Covenanters in protest.]] To combat this, Scottish judges [[RulesLawyer replaced the jury's role as pronouncers of guilt with that of finders-of-fact]] - the jury was asked to rule on specific factual allegations against the accused, and rule only that they were "proven" and "not proven". This persisted until the 1728 case of ''Carnegie of Findhaven'', where Mr Carnegie was accused of killing the Earl of Strathmore. However, the circumstances persuaded the jury that it was an accident.[[note]]Which, under modern Scots law, it bloody well wasn't - Carnegie was very drunk and ''had'' meant to murder another man who had pushed him into a ditch (where a combination of sucking mud and his own drunkenness would have killed him if not for the timely actions of the Earl and his servants). The Earl "stepping in to prevent any Mischief that might happen, received from Finhaven a mortal Wound, about an Inch below his Navel, which wounded his Puddings in three Parts, and went quite throrow his Body".[[/note]] To prevent his client from hanging, his lawyer, Robert Dundas, persuaded the jury to re-assert "its ancient right" to pronounce a verdict of "not guilty", thus preventing Carnegie from hanging but still accepting that he performed the acts libelled. With time, the "proven" verdict fell into desuetude[[note]]Posh lawyer-speak for "fell out of use"[[/note]] and so the system is where it is now. The "Scots verdict" is sometimes translated as "Not guilty and don't do it again", which is why some Scots lawyers want to get rid of it and the stigma it can attach to clients. Worse, because it puts the accused at no legal disadvantage, it cannot be appealed against, so someone is "not proven" in perpetuity.

to:

Originally, the two verdicts open to a Scots jury were the standard "guilty" and "not guilty". However, in the 17th century, the Scottish Crown faced a rebellion by a small sect of Protestants, called [[TheFundamentalist the Convenanters]].Covenanters]]. Such was the brutality of the Crown's crackdown, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Scottish juries refused to pass judgements of "guilty" upon Covenanters in protest.]] To combat this, Scottish judges [[RulesLawyer replaced the jury's role as pronouncers of guilt with that of finders-of-fact]] - -- the jury was asked to rule on specific factual allegations against the accused, and rule only that they were "proven" and "not proven". This persisted until the 1728 case of ''Carnegie of Findhaven'', where Mr Carnegie was accused of killing the Earl of Strathmore. However, the circumstances persuaded the jury that it was an accident.[[note]]Which, under modern Scots law, it bloody well wasn't - -- Carnegie was very drunk and ''had'' meant to murder another man who had pushed him into a ditch (where a combination of sucking mud and his own drunkenness would have killed him if not for the timely actions of the Earl and his servants). The Earl "stepping in to prevent any Mischief that might happen, received from Finhaven a mortal Wound, about an Inch below his Navel, which wounded his Puddings in three Parts, and went quite throrow thorow his Body".[[/note]] To prevent his client from hanging, his lawyer, Robert Dundas, persuaded the jury to re-assert "its ancient right" to pronounce a verdict of "not guilty", thus preventing Carnegie from hanging but still accepting that he performed the acts libelled. With time, the "proven" verdict fell into desuetude[[note]]Posh lawyer-speak for "fell out of use"[[/note]] and so the system is where it is now. The "Scots verdict" is sometimes translated as "Not guilty and don't do it again", which is why some Scots lawyers want to get rid of it and the stigma it can attach to clients. Worse, because it puts the accused at no legal disadvantage, it cannot be appealed against, so someone is "not proven" in perpetuity.
6th Sep '15 10:51:43 AM nombretomado
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* ''{{NCIS}}'' had one case where the perp gave instructions to the gang from their absent leader. The team knew he had killed a sailor and the supposedly absent leader, but couldn't prove it. [[spoiler:So they showed the other gang members their evidence, mentioned that they would never get a conviction, [[BatmanGambit and the perp shows up the next morning dead in a dumpster]].]]

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* ''{{NCIS}}'' ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' had one case where the perp gave instructions to the gang from their absent leader. The team knew he had killed a sailor and the supposedly absent leader, but couldn't prove it. [[spoiler:So they showed the other gang members their evidence, mentioned that they would never get a conviction, [[BatmanGambit and the perp shows up the next morning dead in a dumpster]].]]
13th Aug '15 6:26:04 PM eroock
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-->-- '''Popular understanding of the "Not Proven" verdict in Scotland'''

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-->-- '''Popular Popular understanding of the "Not Proven" verdict in Scotland'''
Scotland
30th Jun '15 12:40:21 PM nombretomado
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* Baltar's trial in the rebooted ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' ends with a not-guilty verdict that Adama (who was the swing vote on the judges' panel) explains this way, saying to Roslin that "not guilty is not the same as innocent" and that the verdict is because "the defense made their case; the prosecution didn't". A good decision, considering that Baltar happened to be innocent of the specific charges brought against him

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* Baltar's trial in the rebooted ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' Galactica|2003}}'' ends with a not-guilty verdict that Adama (who was the swing vote on the judges' panel) explains this way, saying to Roslin that "not guilty is not the same as innocent" and that the verdict is because "the defense made their case; the prosecution didn't". A good decision, considering that Baltar happened to be innocent of the specific charges brought against him
20th Jun '15 9:31:45 PM Fireblood
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Originally, the two verdicts open to a Scots jury were the standard "guilty" and "not guilty". However, in the 17th century, the Scottish Crown faced a rebellion by a small sect of Protestants, called [[TheFundamentalist the Convenanters]]. Such was the brutality of the Crown's crackdown, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Scottish juries refused to pass judgements of "guilty" upon Covenanters in protest.]] To combat this, Scottish judges [[RulesLawyer replaced the jury's role as pronouncers of guilt with that of finders-of-fact]] - the jury was asked to rule on specific factual allegations against the accused, and rule only that they were "proven" and "not proven". This persisted until the 1728 case of ''Carnegie of Findhaven'', where Mr Carnegie was accused of killing the Earl of Strathmore. However, the circumstances persuaded the jury that it was an accident[[note]]Which, under modern Scots law, it bloody well wasn't - Carnegie was very drunk and ''had'' meant to murder another man who had pushed him into a ditch (where a combination of sucking mud and his own drunkenness would have killed him if not for the timely actions of the Earl and his servants). The Earl "stepping in to prevent any Mischief that might happen, received from Finhaven a mortal Wound, about an Inch below his Navel, which wounded his Puddings in three Parts, and went quite throrow his Body".[[/note]] To prevent his client from hanging, his lawyer, Robert Dundas, persuaded the jury to re-assert "its ancient right" to pronounce a verdict of "not guilty", thus preventing Carnegie from hanging but still accepting that he performed the acts libelled. With time, the "proven" verdict fell into desuetude[[note]]Posh lawyer-speak for "fell out of use"[[/note]] and so the system is where it is now. The "Scots verdict" is sometimes translated as "Not guilty and don't do it again", which is why some Scots lawyers want rid of it and the stigma it can attach to clients. Worse, because it puts the accused at no legal disadvantage, it cannot be appealed against, so someone is "not proven" in perpetuity.

Note that while the formal "not proven" verdict is only available in Scotland, this doesn't quite capture the whole picture. For instance Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)[[note]]At the time. A famous moderate, he became a Democrat in 2009 with the encouragement of his close friend UsefulNotes/JoeBiden.[[/note]] tried to vote "Not Proven" in UsefulNotes/BillClinton's impeachment trial; Chief Justice Rehnquist (who was presiding per the Constitution's rules for presidential impeachment) recorded his votes as "not guilty." This is justifiable in that in American law, "not guilty" means "not proven". It does not mean innocent, whether or not the defendant really is innocent. It's up to the government to prove someone broke the law. If they can't, they go free. This tends to lead to ConvictedByPublicOpinion in higher profile cases, where unless a new perp is brought up people (and the media) will tend to assume a defendant only went free because the courts were unable to prove they did it. Legally, not guilty is considered innocent, although you can be sued in civil courts (where the standard of proof is lower and where your previous "not guilty" verdict does ''not'' act as a defence) and the government can still seize your property even if you are found not guilty. They can also sometimes charge you with "civil rights" violations, as well.[[note]]For instance, during the Civil Rights movement in the American South, there were numerous instances of whites murdering blacks and being acquitted of murder (a State crime) by [[JokerJury all-white juries]] despite being obviously guilty, and even bragging about it in some cases. Desiring to punish them one way or another, the Federal government would then try them for violating the victim's civil rights (a Federal crime) by murdering them.[[/note]] And of course, [[WeAllLiveInAmerica we don't all live in America]], and in many European jurisdictions (including Scotland) double jeopardy is not observed and you can be tried ''again'' if new and damning evidence comes to light suggesting your guilt. Isn't the law fun?

to:

Originally, the two verdicts open to a Scots jury were the standard "guilty" and "not guilty". However, in the 17th century, the Scottish Crown faced a rebellion by a small sect of Protestants, called [[TheFundamentalist the Convenanters]]. Such was the brutality of the Crown's crackdown, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Scottish juries refused to pass judgements of "guilty" upon Covenanters in protest.]] To combat this, Scottish judges [[RulesLawyer replaced the jury's role as pronouncers of guilt with that of finders-of-fact]] - the jury was asked to rule on specific factual allegations against the accused, and rule only that they were "proven" and "not proven". This persisted until the 1728 case of ''Carnegie of Findhaven'', where Mr Carnegie was accused of killing the Earl of Strathmore. However, the circumstances persuaded the jury that it was an accident[[note]]Which, accident.[[note]]Which, under modern Scots law, it bloody well wasn't - Carnegie was very drunk and ''had'' meant to murder another man who had pushed him into a ditch (where a combination of sucking mud and his own drunkenness would have killed him if not for the timely actions of the Earl and his servants). The Earl "stepping in to prevent any Mischief that might happen, received from Finhaven a mortal Wound, about an Inch below his Navel, which wounded his Puddings in three Parts, and went quite throrow his Body".[[/note]] To prevent his client from hanging, his lawyer, Robert Dundas, persuaded the jury to re-assert "its ancient right" to pronounce a verdict of "not guilty", thus preventing Carnegie from hanging but still accepting that he performed the acts libelled. With time, the "proven" verdict fell into desuetude[[note]]Posh lawyer-speak for "fell out of use"[[/note]] and so the system is where it is now. The "Scots verdict" is sometimes translated as "Not guilty and don't do it again", which is why some Scots lawyers want to get rid of it and the stigma it can attach to clients. Worse, because it puts the accused at no legal disadvantage, it cannot be appealed against, so someone is "not proven" in perpetuity.

Note that while the formal "not proven" verdict is only available in Scotland, this doesn't quite capture the whole picture. For instance Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)[[note]]At the time. A famous moderate, he became a Democrat in 2009 with the encouragement of his close friend UsefulNotes/JoeBiden.[[/note]] tried to vote "Not Proven" in UsefulNotes/BillClinton's impeachment trial; Chief Justice Rehnquist (who was presiding per the Constitution's rules for presidential impeachment) recorded his votes as "not guilty." This is justifiable in that in American law, "not guilty" means "not proven". It does not mean innocent, whether or not the defendant really is innocent. It's up to the government to prove someone broke the law. If they can't, they go free. This tends to lead to ConvictedByPublicOpinion in higher profile cases, where unless a new perp is brought up people (and the media) will tend to assume a defendant only went free because the courts were unable to prove they did it. Legally, not guilty is considered innocent, although you can be sued in civil courts (where the standard of proof is lower and where your previous "not guilty" verdict does ''not'' act as a defence) defense) and the government can still seize your property even if you are found not guilty. They can also sometimes charge you with "civil rights" violations, as well.[[note]]For instance, during the Civil Rights movement in the American South, there were numerous instances of whites murdering blacks and being acquitted of murder (a State crime) by [[JokerJury all-white juries]] despite being obviously guilty, and even bragging about it in some cases. Desiring to punish them one way or another, the Federal government would then try them for violating the victim's civil rights (a Federal crime) by murdering them.[[/note]] And of course, [[WeAllLiveInAmerica we don't all live in America]], and in many European jurisdictions (including Scotland) double jeopardy is not observed and you can be tried ''again'' if new and damning evidence comes to light suggesting your guilt. Isn't the law fun?



** This was not the only fic where Sirius becomes an example of the trope. In "These Grim Bones", because Fudge was afraid Sirius might have revealed some of the muggles caught at the explosion could have been saved had the obliviators noticed them, all Sirius could do was answering questions regarding his own guilt. Namely, he told he didn't kill Pettigrew, he didn't kill those muggles and didn't betray the Potters to Voldemort. Despite the fact Sirius stated it while under Veritaserum, Dumbledore still believed Sirius to be guilty and, being unable to prevent Sirius' acquittal, persuaded Fudge into sending a Hit Wizard or a Hit Wizard to (officially) protect Sirius from people who might decide to take justice on their own hands but (extra-officially) find and report evidence to send Sirius back to Azkaban. Fortunately, the witch who took the job was Amelia Bones, who did it so the job wouldn't be taken by someone who, hoping for a quick promotion, would forge evidence. She believes Sirius to be guilty but she's too honest to approve convicting anyone (even a Death Eater) on false evidence.
** In "Growing Up Black", when some relatives of Sirius Black found out he was never allowed to plead his case in a trial, his maternal Grandfather argued at the Wizengamot that Dumbledore's testimony was just hearsay and testimony from muggles was unadmissable. Then, when asked if he wanted Sirius to be given a trial, his Grandfather instead invoked a law stating that, as a pureblood, Sirius shouldn't be forced to stay in Azkaban for more than 30 days without a trial and, because he was, the charges he'd been sent there for should be dropped. People who still believe Sirius to be guilty usually state he got OffOnATechnicality.
** In "Three Dursleys, a Potter and a Black", Sirius was acquitted and Dumbledore mentioned the blood protection so Harry wouldn't be taken away from the Dursleys. Taking advantage of the fact Dumbledore never ordered him not to move into Privet Drive and that the Dursleys love money more than they hate magic, Sirius moved into their home. When Dumbledore found out Sirius reached Harry and the Dursleys despite the wards keeping them from being found by anyone meaning to harm Harry, he assumed Sirius used some dark magic to get past the wards.

to:

** This was not the only fic where Sirius becomes an example of the trope. In "These Grim Bones", because Fudge was afraid Sirius might have revealed some of the muggles caught at the explosion could have been saved had the obliviators noticed them, all Sirius could do was answering answer questions regarding his own guilt. Namely, he told said he didn't kill Pettigrew, he didn't kill those muggles and didn't betray the Potters to Voldemort. Despite the fact Sirius stated it while under Veritaserum, Dumbledore still believed Sirius to be guilty and, being unable to prevent Sirius' acquittal, persuaded Fudge into sending a Hit Wizard or a Hit Wizard to (officially) protect Sirius from people who might decide to take justice on their own hands but (extra-officially) find and report evidence to send Sirius back to Azkaban. Fortunately, the witch who took the job was Amelia Bones, who did it so the job wouldn't be taken by someone who, hoping for a quick promotion, would forge evidence. She believes Sirius to be guilty but she's too honest to approve convicting anyone (even a Death Eater) on false evidence.
** In "Growing Up Black", when some relatives of Sirius Black found out he was never allowed to plead his case in a trial, his maternal Grandfather argued at the Wizengamot that Dumbledore's testimony was just hearsay and testimony from muggles was unadmissable.inadmissible. Then, when asked if he wanted Sirius to be given a trial, his Grandfather instead invoked a law stating that, as a pureblood, Sirius shouldn't be forced to stay in Azkaban for more than 30 days without a trial and, because he was, the charges he'd been sent there for should be dropped. People who still believe Sirius to be guilty usually state he got OffOnATechnicality.
** In "Three Dursleys, a Potter and a Black", Sirius was acquitted and Dumbledore mentioned the blood protection so Harry wouldn't be taken away from the Dursleys. Taking advantage of the fact that Dumbledore never ordered him not to move into Privet Drive and that the Dursleys love money more than they hate magic, Sirius moved into their home. When Dumbledore found out Sirius reached Harry and the Dursleys despite the wards keeping them from being found by anyone meaning to harm Harry, he assumed Sirius used some dark magic to get past the wards.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NotProven