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What (who) is preponderance of the evidence - definition

preponderance of the evidence      
n. the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. Thus, one clearly knowledgeable witness may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen witnesses with hazy testimony, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended. Preponderance of the evidence is required in a civil case and is contrasted with "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial. No matter what the definition stated in various legal opinions, the meaning is somewhat subjective. See also: evidence
Examples of use of preponderance of the evidence
1. Defendants in Virginia must prove mental retardation by a preponderance of the evidence, a less–rigorous standard than that used to determine guilt.
2. He said Atkins "must prove he is mentally retarded by... a preponderance of the evidence". If he failed to do so, another court had already decided his fate, he explained.
3. The court could dismiss the lawsuits if it finds that supported by "a preponderance of the evidence." "We have to draw a line in the sand and say we‘ve compromised enough," said Rep.
4. For the jury to consider a mitigating factor, it had to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which is the lower standard than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which was used on the aggravating factors.
5. The defense must prove retardation "by a preponderance of the evidence," a lesser standard than "beyond a reasonable doubt." John Blume, a Cornell University law professor who has followed similar cases nationally, observes÷ "It‘s a little bizarre when you think about it, that life or death can ride on an IQ point or two." Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.