INNOCENCEinnocence, n. The absence of guilt; esp., freedom from guilt for a particular offense. Cf. GUILT.
actual innocence. Criminal law. The absence of facts that are prerequisites for the sentence given to a defendant. ? In death-penalty cases, actual innocence is an exception to the cause-and-prejudice rule, and can result in a successful challenge to the death sentence on the basis of a defense that was not presented to the trial court. The prisoner must show by clear and convincing evidence that, but for constitutional error in the trial court, no reasonable judge or juror would find the defendant eligible for the death penalty. See Sawyer v. Whitley, 505 U.S. 333, 112 S.Ct. 2514 (1992). Cf. CAUSE-AND-PREJUDICE RULE. [Cases: Habeas Corpus 401, 462.]
legal innocence. Criminal law. The absence of one or more procedural or legal bases to support the sentence given to a defendant. ? In the context of a petition for writ of habeas corpus or other attack on the sentence, legal innocence is often contrasted with actual innocence. Actual innocence, which focuses on the facts underlying the sentence, can sometimes be used to obtain relief from the death penalty based on trial-court errors that were not objected to at trial, even if the petitioner cannot meet the elements of the cause-and-prejudice rule. But legal innocence, which focuses on the applicable law and procedure, is not as readily available. Inadvertence or a poor trial strategy resulting in the defendant’s failure to assert an established legal principle will not ordinarily be sufficient to satisfy the cause-and-prejudice rule or to establish the right to an exception from that rule. See CAUSE-AND-PREJUDICE RULEE. [Cases: Habeas Corpus 401, 462.]
What is the Chinese interpretation of INNOCENCE?