Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about.

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

While the legal result of both not guilty and not proven is acquittal, there is a clear advantage in distinguishing between the two. In cases of sexual assault, the different connotations of the two verdicts provide a way for the jury to signal when they believe the victim but that the case can not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and in other cases they can signal that they believe a defendant is actually innocent. Likewise, in cases of murder the jury can signal when they believe a defendant is innocent as well as when they think he is guilty but it can not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. With not guilty and not proven grouped together into one verdict, these possibilities are lost and the falsely accused are grouped with those who are factually guilty but can legally get away with their crimes. Instituting not proven as a third verdict would be a meaningful change that would greatly reduce many injustices.

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