Subsequent facts establishing innocence (Zimbabwe)

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Occasionally, after the accused has been convicted but before sentence is imposed, evidence comes to light which proves conclusively that he did not commit the offence, such as that he was in prison when the offence was committed. The magistrate may discover a superior court decision which reveals conclusively that he misconstrued the law and wrongly convicted the accused. In such a situation the proceedings may be sent for review to the High Court before the case is completed, for it is clearly undesirable that an accused should be sentenced if inevitably the conviction will later be quashed.

If after sentencing the accused facts come to the attention of the magistrate which indicate that the accused did not commit the offence and the case has not yet been reviewed, the magistrate should ensure that the case is immediately reviewed by a judge and that the judge is apprised of these new facts. If it has already been reviewed and the proceedings have been confirmed, the new facts should immediately be brought to the attention of the High Court in order for the confirmation certificate to be withdrawn and the conviction to be quashed.


See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual