The Pattern Still Remains

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Scotch Verdict

A verdict of “not proven.” Although in English and American law a jury in a criminal case is required to bring in a verdict of “guilty” or “not guilty,” Scottish law allows this third alternative. In effect it says that while the jury strongly suspects that the defendant is guilty as charged, the prosecution has not adduced evidence sufficiently conclusive to justify a vote for conviction.

Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris, 1977.