View Full Version : Aquitted vs. Not guilty-what is the difference???


evl19
05-03-2007, 12:25 PM
Who knows what is the difference of being aquitted vs. found not guilty?:confused:

steph0219
05-03-2007, 12:44 PM
Who knows what is the difference of being aquitted vs. found not guilty?:confused:

Here is the webster definiton.....Same thing for not guilty....

acquitted Aadjective1 acquitted, not guilty (http://www.wordreference.com/definition/not%5Fguilty)
declared not guilty of a specific offense or crime; legally blameless; "he stands acquitted on all charges"; "the jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity"

Take Care............

meganlea
05-03-2007, 08:09 PM
They're the same.

Gryphon
05-04-2007, 12:13 PM
Yes, legally identical terms. Neither means "innocent". Both mean that the DA has failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. (This leaves open the possiblity that the Defednant was almost certainly guilty, but there was a reasonable doubt. It also covers situations where someone was factually innocent. Not guilty, or an aquital, covers a really broad range of "relative guiltiness".
States have a way to be declared "factually innocent". That's where the evidence, in the light most favorable to the prosecution, could not possibly have supported a conviction. Such a finding is very rare.

steph0219
05-04-2007, 12:16 PM
Yes, legally identical terms. Neither means "innocent". Both mean tha tteh DA has failed to prove teh case beyond a reasonable doubt. (This leaves open the possiblity that the Defednant was almost certainly guilty, but there was a reasonable doubt. It also covers situations where someone was factually innocent. Not guilty, or an aquital, covers a really broad range of "relative guiltiness".
States have a way to be declared "factually innocent". That's where the evidence, in the light most favorable to the prosecution, could not possibly have supported a conviction. Such a finding is very rare.

Not Guilty means exactly that you are found not guilty of the crime (innocent). Acquitted means what you state, there wasn't enough evidence to find guilt therefore the defendant is acquitted of all charges.

Big difference between the two.

evl19
05-04-2007, 12:34 PM
thanks gryphon for clearing up the actual difference between the two.

haswtch
05-04-2007, 12:54 PM
Just TRY getting a DA to agree that acquitted means innocent. If you like beating your head on a wall.:)

Gryphon
05-04-2007, 01:04 PM
Incorrect.
Defense trial lawyers spend most of jury Vior Dire trying to educate jurors that it is NOT their job to declare innocence, only to determine whether the DA's burden is met. That's why, after all teh evidence is heard, a "not guilty" finding covers a range from "factually innocent", all the way up to "almost certanly did it". A "Guilty" verdict covers the very tiny range of "Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", meaning that there is no reasonable explanation other than guilt. Trial lawyers sometimes usual a visual graphic to make this clear.
Not Guilty most certainly does not mean "innocent". There is no jury finding of "innocent" in American law. A Defendant can't go to trial and be found "innocent" as a possible result (although defendants, lawyers, and especially politicians will make this claim anyways. A Defendant can't get"vindication" as a result of a trial, because winning could still mean that they seemed pretty darned guilty.)
A jury is asked to determine whether the DA met the burden of proof (Guilty Beyoind a Reasonable Doubt.) If there is a failure to prove the case to that degree, then the defendant is "not guilty". The jury lacks the legal ability to declare that someone is factually innocent.
(As I recall, the Italian system makes allowances for factual innocence.)

Not Guilty means exactly that you are found not guilty of the crime (innocent). Acquitted means what you state, there wasn't enough evidence to find guilt therefore the defendant is acquitted of all charges.

Big difference between the two.

steph0219
05-04-2007, 01:25 PM
Incorrect.
Defense trial lawyers spend most of jury Vior Dire trying to educate jurors that it is NOT their job to declare innocence, only to determine whether the DA's burden is met. That's why, after all teh evidence is heard, a "not guilty" finding covers a range from "factually innocent", all the way up to "almost certanly did it". A "Guilty" verdict covers the very tiny range of "Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", meaning that there is no reasonable explanation other than guilt. Trial lawyers sometimes usual a visual graphic to make this clear.
Not Guilty most certainly does not mean "innocent". There is no jury finding of "innocent" in American law. A Defendant can't go to trial and be found "innocent" as a possible result (although defendants, lawyers, and especially politicians will make this claim anyways. A Defendant can't get"vindication" as a result of a trial, because winning could still mean that they seemed pretty darned guilty.)
A jury is asked to determine whether the DA met the burden of proof (Guilty Beyoind a Reasonable Doubt.) If there is a failure to prove the case to that degree, then the defendant is "not guilty". The jury lacks the legal ability to declare that someone is factually innocent.
(As I recall, the Italian system makes allowances for factual innocence.)

I sat on a jury twice, know the definitions as you have continued to state. We are talking the same lingo....

Nolongerchained
05-04-2007, 01:30 PM
When the jury says they find you not guilty you are then aquitted of those charges.

meganlea
05-04-2007, 08:15 PM
I sat on a jury twice, know the definitions as you have continued to state. We are talking the same lingo....

We're NOT talking the same lingo. Gryphon is an attorney (I believe!) and I work in the court system. Not guilty does *NOT* mean innocent. It simply means the prosecution did not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It doesn't mean that the person didn't do it. It means they couldn't prove it.