For a criminal defendant to be convicted, the prosecutor must demonstrate the suspect’s guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. The defendant is entitled to an opportunity to prove his or her innocence. There are two basic defenses at the defendant’s disposal – “I did not do it” and “I did it but in self-defense”.
I did not do it
Most often, the defendants simply claim their innocent and deny the change of their involvement in the alleged crime. They usually raise an argument that no crime took place or someone else did it. The attorney defending the suspect taking a stand that no offense was committed might come up with an explanation that either there is no truth in the witnesses’ version or the client’s action does not match the offense in its entirety.
In this write-up, we will explore a couple of ideas within the framework of “I did not do it” stand of defense, alibi, and the presumption of innocence.
Presumption of Innocence
Anyone facing criminal charges in Oregon, OH is legally entitled to claim of innocence until he or she is convicted of a crime beyond any reasonable amount of doubt. Such a claim can be put forward via a plea or trial. The presumption actually puts the burden of providing the defendant’s guilt on the prosecutor. The defendant usually remains silent and leaves the onus of collecting evidence and providing a demonstration to the prosecutor.
At this point, the defendant is absolved of presenting witnesses and documenting evidence in support of his or her innocence. Instead, the lawyer representing the defendant may argue that the prosecution has no evidence that can prove that the suspect committed the crime. However, in practice, the defender’s attorney presents their witnesses to counterattack the prosecutor’s points.
The prosecutor must demonstrate convincingly to the jury or judge, who seeks nothing but the truth, that the defender actually perpetrated the crime. The heavy burden of proving the guilt of the defendant beyond any reasonable limit requires the jury to develop a strong and reasonable mental certainty that the suspect was guilty. As the prosecutor is saddled with such a high burden of proving the guilt of the defendant, the criminal defense attorney often plays a trick to convince the juries that any presumption that the suspect committed the crime is not enough to convict his client.
What is an Alibi?
An alibi defense comprises evidence to establish that the defendant was away from the crime scene when the crime was committed. If the defense attorney can establish with concrete evidence that his client was not present at the crime scene at the time when the crime was done, it will convince the jury or judge of the defendant’s innocence.
Applying Self-Defense Formula
Those facing a criminal charge of violence such as murder, assault, or battery usually resort to the assertion of a Self-Defense Formula. In such a case, the defendant does not deny his or her involvement in the crime and instead argues that he or she committed it in self-defense. In a way, the defendant justifies the crime as it was committed to saving his or her life and/or dignity.