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In the United States, the adversarial system of justice in both criminal and legal matters requires some litigants to produce certain types of evidence and to establish, to the satisfaction of a judge or a jury, that their own arguments are compelling enough to prevail over those advanced by opposing counsel. To lend orderliness and predictability to this process, the legal system assigns a burden of proof to one side or the other, based on the type of case involved and on a general understanding of what would be both fair and reasonable to expect from the various parties under those circumstances. Burden of proof is often described as consisting of both the burden of production, which reflects the duty to provide certain kinds of ...

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