Of course it doesn’t. Anyone who claims so needs their brain rebooted.
This topic came up on an online discussion where there were many comments indicating a poorly conceived belief that a “not guilty” verdict from a court means “innocent”.
In a criminal case the court has to decide whether there is enough evidence to determine if the accused can be found guilty in the opinion of the court. The legal system very wisely knows that whilst it has the job of determining truth (as part of dispensing justice), it cannot do that so restricts itself to determining whether there is sufficient evidence to find someone guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
That means those who get a “not guilty” verdict comprise two groups – those who are innocent, and those who are guilty, but there is sufficient doubt over their guilt that they cannot be found guilty. Any policeman (or woman) will tell you that those found “not guilty” include plenty of people who really are guilty, but the evidence isn’t sufficient.
We have a legal system where there is a presumption of innocence – the old saying is that it is better that 99 guilty criminals go free than 1 innocent person be convicted. The legal system assumes that mistakes will be made (quite rightly – the decisions are made by people), and weighs the system heavily in favour of ensuring that mistakes result in people going free when they are guilty.
It does this by asking the jury to decide if the accused is guilty; not whether they are innocent. And they must have no reasonable doubts over the guilt of the accused. In a perfect situation a simple question has a black or white answer – the accused is guilty or innocent; in the real world we all know there are grey areas – there is plenty of evidence showing that the accused killed the victim, but she has a good alibi.
Where a case becomes grey and there is sufficient doubt, the verdict should be “not guilty” even if the accused was probably guilty.