Originally Posted by You
But I did learn enough that she was guilty of something beyond lying to the authorities. That's why I believe I suggested either Murder 2 or more likely Manslaughter. I do believe she took her daughter's life but I don't think it was intentional. The Father was definitely not involved,, on that I'd bet the farm.
Your beliefs may well be right.
But for better or worse, our nation's founders so dreaded the spectire of the injustice of a person who committed no crime being deprived of liberty that they wrote the legal presumption of innocence into our federal constitution, thus placing the burden on prosecutors to prove the guilt of the accused in every criminal proceeding. As a result of this choice, the question before the jury in a criminal proceeding is NOT: "Is the defendant guilty?" Rather, the question before the jury is: "Did the prosecution prove that the defendant is guilty?" If the evidence and testimony presented during the trial does not constitute proof beyond a reasonable doubt (or, for a capital offense, beyond all shadow of doubt), the jury must acquit the defendant on that charge.
That said, I would be the first to agree that the phrase "Not Guilty" is not really an accurate characterization of the verdict of acquittal. The Scottish verdict of "Not Proven" would be a much more accurate characterization of what's really meant by acquittal.