In general, it is the prosecution's responsibility to prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. However, although a defendant is not obliged to show innocence in order to escape conviction, the prosecution is not required to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
When you vote on evidence presented during your trial jury deliberations are intended to reflect upon the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony. A juror may not simply ignore credible evidence that contradicts his or her opinion; instead, he or she must consider whether to believe the testimony of one witness over another or more documents. In short, jurors are free to believe all, some, or none of the testimony presented at trial.
It is important to note that guilt does not have to be proved beyond all possible doubt in order to satisfy the requirements of law. The standard of proof required in criminal cases is "proof beyond a reasonable doubt." This means that before a defendant can be convicted, there must be sufficient evidence for a reasonable person to conclude that he or she is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If even one piece of evidence is found to be unreliable, the whole case could be thrown out of court.
In conclusion, yes the defense does have to prove innocence but only because courts require it be done so.
In a criminal proceeding, the prosecution carries the burden of demonstrating beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This implies that the prosecution must persuade the jury that the evidence presented at trial cannot be explained in any other way. The jury must not be allowed to speculate as to what happened or who was responsible for the crime.
Generally, in order to find someone guilty, you need to believe only one thing: that someone committed the crime. You do not have to believe any additional things - such as that this person is innocent, or that he or she is not worthy of suspicion. A single act may be sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, such as when there is no evidence of resistance or provocation. However, if multiple people had access to a weapon, then proof that one person used it would not be enough to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, if the weapon could have been used by anyone at any time prior to and including when the crime was committed, then proof that it was used during the crime would not be enough to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
When you vote on whether or not someone is guilty, your role is very limited. Your job is simply to determine whether there is enough evidence for a reasonable person to conclude that the defendant is guilty. It is up to the judge or jury to decide what weight should be given to each piece of evidence.
Most of us have heard the expression "innocent until proven guilty," which is vital in the criminal justice system and has substantial implications for anybody accused of a crime. It protects accused persons by exempting them from having to prove their innocence. It also protects others by not prejudging them based on suspicion or allegations alone.
In English law, there is no presumption of guilt. In fact, defendants are presumed innocent until proved otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that everyone charged with a crime must be considered innocent unless his or her case is proven beyond a reasonable doubt by evidence presented during a trial or other judicial proceeding.
The presumption of innocence is an ancient concept that goes back at least as early as 1215 BC when it appeared in the Code of Hammurabi. The idea then, as now, was that since people are innocent until proven guilty, those charged with crimes should not be forced to prove themselves innocent. Instead, they should be given the opportunity to do so through a trial where all the facts are aired out in public. Only then can someone's guilt be determined conclusively.
In America, the presumption of innocence is found in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is evidence that convinces you of the defendant's guilt. There are relatively few things in our world that we know with full certainty, and the law does not need proof that disproves every potential question in criminal cases. Reasonable doubt is such doubt as would cause a person to hesitate to act in the most important of his/her affairs.
Reasonable doubt is that state of mind that leads to one conclusion: that you do not believe the defendant is guilty of the crime charged against him/her. Even though you may think that another possibility exists, or that some evidence may be available that could lead to a different result, if you do not have complete confidence in the defendant's guilt, you must give her/him the benefit of the doubt and find him/her not guilty.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt eliminates any possibility of error or misunderstanding on the part of the fact-finder. As well, proof beyond a reasonable doubt gives the defendant the benefit of the doubt when there is uncertainty about what happened. It means that he/she does not have to prove his/her innocence but rather the prosecution has to prove the defendant's guilt beyond all possible doubt.
In criminal cases, the government often has to rely on witnesses to establish facts surrounding the crime. The jury decides whether these witnesses are telling the truth and whether they have proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.