Evidence – Trial Court Burdens of Proof
By Justice Brian M. Hoffstadt
Calibrating the Scales of Justice
We are all familiar with the iconic depiction of Lady Justiceâher eyes blindfolded, one arm aloft and bearing scales, the other at her side holding a sword. We also all know that her blindfold symbolizes impartiality; her scales, the weighing of evidence; and her sword, the swift and final execution of her judgment.
But how, exactly, are Lady Justiceâs scales calibrated? Who decidesâand how do they decideâwhich way the scales tip, and by how much they tip, when the trier of fact is weighing the evidence?