Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What is reasonable doubt?

A reasonable doubt is not a doubt based on sympathy or prejudice; it is based on reason and common sense. It is logically connected to the evidence or absence of evidence. It does not require proof to an absolute certainty nor is it proof beyond any doubt. It is not proof beyond an imaginary or frivolous doubt. A determination that an accused "probably" had the requisite intent falls far short of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. (R. v. Lifchus, [1997] S.C.J. No. 77, paragraph 36)The reasonable doubt standard "falls much closer to absolute certainty than to proof on a balance of probabilities." (R. v. Starr, [2000] S.C.J. No. 40, paragraph 242)

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