Difference between innocent and not proven guilty.

Difference between proven innocent and not proven guilty
Difference between proven innocent and not proven guilty

When a plaintiff files a case in a court of law, all the pieces of evidence are presented and examined and on the basis of that, the court announces a verdict of guilty or not guilty. But all the cases are not that simple. There some cases where the defendant has been announced innocent and there are some cases where the defendant has been announced not guilty. In some cases, there may not be a clear-cut answer. As it is the duty of the court to prevent an innocent from getting punished, they usually get the accused to go if there is a little doubt. But there is a lot of difference between these two.

Innocent Verdict.

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Innocent Verdict

An innocent verdict means the person accused of the charges is innocent. The court has examined the evidence presented and has come to a conclusion that there is no way that the person accused has done the crime.

For example, Ramesh accused Abdul of stealing his goat during the night of 28th February. Ramesh presents a watch as a piece of evidence and claims that it belongs to Abdul, which he found in the goat’s shelter. Ramesh testified that Abdul was always jealous of his wealth and wanted to steal his goat.

When Abdul was brought in for questioning, it was uncovered that not only did Abdul had his watch still with him, he was also out of the station on the 27th, 28th of February. He only returned by the evening of the 1st of March. To support this, he produced his train tickets along with the receipt of the hotel he stayed in.

After examining the evidence, the court concluded that Ramesh was making a baseless allegation and had no concrete proof to support his claim. On the other hand, Abdul had more than enough evidence that not only had he not committed the crime, he was not in the town itself when the crime took place. So, Abdul was pronounced innocent, meaning that there is no way that he had done the crime he was being accused of.

Not Guilty Verdict.

Not guilty usually means that there were not enough pieces of evidence to prove that the defendant has done the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. A court will never convict someone if there is even an iota of doubt that he may not have done it.

For example, Ramesh accused Abdul of stealing his goat during the night of February 28th. He presented a watch as evidence which was found by him in his animal shelter. He also presented an eyewitness Naresh, who saw Abdul roaming around Ramesh’s house at night. Abdul produced no counter-evidence.

But it was observed that the watch’s size was not big enough to fit on Abdul’s hand, which led to the conclusion that the watch may belong to someone else. As no other evidence was presented connecting him directly to the crime scene, the court concluded that Abdul cannot be convicted on all pieces of evidence presented as it does not prove his crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Abdul being sighted near Ramesh’s house does not prove anything and thus not enough to convict him of theft. But it also doesn’t mean he is innocent as there was no evidence supporting that he had not done the act he was accused of.


Proven innocent means no evidence against him, not guilty means not enough evidence to convict him. This little variation makes all the difference in the world.