Saturday, July 14, 2018
Where there is reasonable doubt, the accused must be acquitted
In criminal cases, to justify a conviction, the culpability of an accused must be established by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, as the accused enjoys a constitutionally enshrined disputable presumption of innocence. The court, in ascertaining the guilt of an accused, must, after having marshaled the facts and circumstances, reach a moral certainty as to the accused’s guilt. Moral certainty is that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind. Otherwise, where there is reasonable doubt, the accused must be acquitted (Caunan vs. People of the Philippines and Sandiganbayan G.R. Nos 181999, 182001-04, 02 September 2009).