Many countries have a binary justice system that sorts defendants into two very broad categories: ‘guilty’ and ‘not guilty’. Those deemed ‘not guilty’ are often left with the stigma of a criminal record, even when the accused was overwhelmingly proven to have done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, another defendant might also be labelled ‘not guilty’, despite substantial evidence of guilt, if a single juror had some lingering doubts. And in some countries, such as the United States, the system incentivises agreements that pressure defendants to plead guilty to crimes regardless of their actual guilt. In this video from Wireless Philosophy, Barry Lam, an associate professor of philosophy at Vassar College, discusses alternatives to the prevailing two-verdict system that might more accurately reflect degrees of uncertainty – as well as some of their potential pitfalls.
Video by Wireless Philosophy
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