This is a direct follow up to my last question: How/could a legal system whose punishments were based off of "level of certainty" that crime occured function?
I suggested that a jury can decide to what burden of proof level the prosecution has made the case, if any, and the potential punishment for the crime would depend on the burden reached by the prosecution, the more confident they are of the crime the higher the maximum punishment.
I wrote the following as a sample list of 'levels' that the prosecution can be found to have met:
- "clear and convincing evidence" (current burden for civic cases)
- "evidence without dispute" (no alternate explanation for the crime exists that is deemed creditable, ie no one else could likely have done the same)
- ...some other stricter level here...
- "beyond a reasonable doubt" (current level)
- "Beyond a reasonable doubt, direct evidence" (requires clear direct, ie non-circumstantial, evidence in addition to above, you're going to need DNA or something similar"
- "beyond a shadow of a doubt" (requires something like clear video recording the entire crime occurring and that the accused did it, or hundreds of witnesses who could clearly see their face and cops arresting you in the act; basically you can't possible imagine this person could every be innocent)
I don't like my 2 & 3 in that sample. Can anyone suggest a good definition of various levels of burden that can be met. I'm looking for a clear-as-possible way of distinguishing the various levels, something that can be taught in the culture to a high enough degree that intelligent people who are not lawyers have a decent idea of how the various levels differ.
Any/all good ways of distinguishing different levels is appreciated. I am most interested in at least one good separation between my 1 and 4 example, but any clear definition of different levels is nice.
Any comments about the actual premise can be added to the linked question, this is just trying to get a good definition of different levels of burden that could be used in the world.
I also need cleaner terminology for the world, a quick clean way of specifying what the various levels are and referencing what level was met. By that I mean what is the cleanest & quickest way to say that Bob was "found guilty of assault with a burden of proof equal to the second level", it would presumably be something that is said quickly, since every felony conviction would have to reference what level it was made at so a quick way of phrasing it will quickly be created by lawyers. Any suggestions on good terminology is welcome.