Here’s an idea meant to provoke. The motivation is the jury verdict in the Michael Jackson case, but any significant jury verdict could be used instead.
The jury finds the defendant not guilty. As we all know, this finding isn’t supposed to express the proposition that the the defendant is innocent. The remark is supposed to be a remark about an evidential relation, to the effect that the evidence fails to confirm to the needed degree that the defendant is guilty.
An alternative practice would be to have the jury listen to the arguments of the lawyers, and simply pronounce either, “Yup, he did it,” or remain silent. They could simply be asked, “is he guilty?” and any consensus other than “yes” wouldn’t convict.
What reasons are there to prefer the actual system over this possible one?
The one I like is this: internalism of some variety is assumed by the practices of the courtroom! As far as I can see, the idea must be this. Telling whether the guy did it or didn’t do it can be relatively obscure, but even an ordinary, reasonable person can tell what the evidence confirms or doesn’t confirm (as long as we put restrictions in place that don’t kick in unsavory elements into the deliberations, such as emotive ones). In the search for truth, where we often can only see through a glass darkly, there’s always something much easier to see–namely, what the evidence favors and to what degree it favors it.
Any other explanations?