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From the song The Trial by Pink Floyd

The evidence before the court is incontrovertible

There's no need for the jury to retire

I know I shouldn't read too much into a song (which takes place in the mind of the protagonist), and I also know that "showing feelings of an almost human nature" is not a real crime, but I'd like to know if it has a little basis in reality. Is it legal for a judge to simply decide on a verdict because s/he decides the evidence is so strong that the jury (who have already sat through the case) isn't required?

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Yes

It's called a directed verdict (or judgment as a matter of law in the USA).

When the judge reaches the conclusion that, on the evidence, no reasonable jury could find otherwise, the judge may rule what the verdict shall be.

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