Justice Process - Judgment
What if the accused is found not guilty?
If the accused is found "not guilty", the judge will acquit the accused, which means they are free to go.
If the accused is found "not guilty", it does not mean that the judge or jury thought that the victim was lying or that they did not believe the other witnesses. It means that they were not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt.
The burden of proving someone guilty of a criminal offence is very high and our court system is designed to make sure that if there is any doubt, that this doubt is decided in favour of the accused.
Our court system does not want to make mistakes and punish someone who is innocent. Therefore, the justice system instructs judges and juries to be very cautious.
What if the accused is found guilty?
If the accused is found "guilty" the judge will decide the appropriate punishment. This is called the sentence. Sentencing may occur at a later date.