Competent Verdicts (Zimbabwe)
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter XV deals with the issue of permissible verdicts (i.e. competent verdicts).
A person charged with a crime may be found guilty if the facts proved establish this of ?
- threatening, inciting, conspiring to commit or attempting to commit that crime or any other crime of which the person might be convicted on the charge; or
- assisting a perpetrator of that crime or of any other crime of which the person might be convicted on the charge.
If X is found not guilty of the crime charged, and the essential elements of the crime charged include the essential elements of some other crime, X may be found guilty of such other crime, if such are the facts proved. [s 274]
A person charged with an offence listed in the first column of the Fourth Schedule can be found guilty of any of the offences listed alongside that crime in the second column in the Fourth Schedule. [s 275]
A person charged with threatening, inciting, conspiring or assisting the perpetrator to commit an offence listed in the first column of the Fourth Schedule can be found guilty of any of the offences listed alongside that crime in the second column in the Fourth Schedule. [s 275]
276 Sentence imposable where person found guilty on competent verdict Where a person charged with a crime is found guilty of another crime in terms of this Chapter, the sentence imposed upon that person shall not exceed the maximum sentence applicable to the crime of which he or she is convicted.
Section 207 CPEA provides that where a court finds that part but not all of the facts of an offence charged have been proved, it shall nevertheless convict the accused of that offence if the facts that are proved disclose all the essential elements of that offence.