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Burden of Persuasion

Definition - What does Burden of Persuasion mean?

A burden of persuasion is the responsibility of a party in a lawsuit or trial to prove to the judge or jury that there is enough evidence to justify that party's position. In criminal cases, the burden of persuasion is on the prosecution. In civil cases, the burden of persuasion is on the plaintiff.

Justipedia explains Burden of Persuasion

Evidence is critical for court cases because it can help the judge or the jury determine whether or not the defendant is guilty. Without sufficient evidence, it would be very difficult for the finders of fact to be able to determine whether or not the accused has actually committed the offense. This is why there is a burden of persuasion. For criminal cases, the burden of persuasion is to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the defendant has committed the crime. For civil cases, the burden of persuasion is to prove the legitimacy of a claim "by the preponderance of the evidence."

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