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presumption of innocence

n. a fundamental protection for a person accused of a crime, which requires the prosecution to prove its case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. This is opposite from the criminal law in many countries, where the accused is considered guilty until he/ she proves his/her innocence or the government completely fails to prove its case.

See also: beyond a reasonable doubt  presumption 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications