not guilty


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not guilty

n. 1) plea of a person who claims not to have committed the crime of which he/she is accused, made in court when arraigned (first brought before a judge) or at a later time set by court. The choices of what one can plea are: guilty, not guilty, no contest, not guilty by reason of insanity, or incompetent to stand trial. 2) verdict after trial by judge sitting without a jury or by jury (unanimous decision in all but two states, which allow a verdict by only 10 of the jurors), stating that the prosecution has not proved the defendant guilty of crime or that it believes the accused person was insane at the time crime was committed. The accused cannot be tried for again for the crime charged. (See: plea, arraignment, not guilty by reason of insanity)

not guilty

adjective above suspicion, blameless, clean-handed, exculpable, faultless, free from guilt, guiltless, impeccable, incorrupt, inculpable, innocent, not responsible, sinless, unblemished, unimpeachable
Associated concepts: plea of not guilty
See also: acquitted, blameless, clean, clear, inculpable, irreprehensible

not guilty

the verdict of a court that a person is not, in law or in fact, responsible for the crime charged against him. See GUILTY, NOT PROVEN.

NOT GUILTY, pleading. The general issue in several sorts of actions. It is the general issue.
     2. In trespass, its form is as follows: "And the said C D, by E F, his attorney, comes and defends the, force and injury, when, &c., and says, that he is not guilty of the said trespasses above laid to his charge, or any part thereof, in the manner and form as the said A B hath above complained. And of this the said C D puts himself upon the country."
     3. Under this issue the defendant may give in evidence any matter which directly controverts the truth of any allegation, which the plaintiff on such general issue will be bound to prove; 1 B. & P. 213; and no person is bound to justify who is not, prima facie, a trespasser. 2 B. & P. 359: 2 Saund. 284, d. For example, the plea of not guilty is proper in trespass to persons, if the defendant have committed no assault, battery, or imprisonment, &c.; and in trespass to personal property, if the plaintiff had no property in the goods, or the defendant were not guilty of taking them, &c.; and in trespass to real property, this plea not only puts in issue the fact of trespass, &c, but also the title, which, whether freehold or possessory in the defendant, or a person under whom he claims, may be given in evidence under it, which matters show, prima facie, that the right of possession, which is necessary in trespass, is not in the plaintiff, but in the defendant or the person under whom he justifies. 8 T. R. 403; 7 T. R. 354; Willes, 222; Steph. PI. 178; 1 Chit. PI. 491, 492.
     4. In trespass on the case in general, the formula is as follows: "And the said C D, by E F his attorney, comes and defends the wrong and injury when, &c., and says, that he is not guilty of the premises above laid to his charge, in manner and form as the said A B hath above complained. And of this the said C D puts himself on the country."
     5. This, it will be observed, is a mere traverse, or denial, of the facts alleged in the declaration; and therefore, on principle, should be applied only to cases in which the defence rest's on such denial. But here a relaxation has taken place, for under this plea, a defendant is permitted not only to contest the truth of the declaration, but with some exceptions, to prove any matter of defence, that tends to show that the plaintiff has no cause of action, though such matters be in confession and avoidance of the declaration; as, for example, a release given, or satisfaction made. Steph. Pl. 182-3; 1 Chit. Pi. 486.
     6. In trover. It is not usual in this action to plead any other plea, except the statute of limitations; and a release, and the bankruptcy of the plaintiff, may be given in evidence under the general issue. 7 T. R. 391
     7. In debt on a judgment suggesting a devastavit, an executor may plead not guilty. 1 T. R. 462.
     8. In criminal cases, when the defendant wishes to put himself on his trial, he pleads not guilty.

References in periodicals archive ?
Jonathan Rees, 63, of Village Close, Weybridge, Surrey, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud and committing a series of acts intending to pervert the course of justice.
Thomas Lynch, 43, of St Benedict's Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods.
Callum Duggan, 27, of Dorset Road, Guisborough, pleaded not guilty to assisting one of the offenders by disposing of a mobile phone on August 20 last year.
Dene Long, 19, of Iona Place, Walker, pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy but guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.
Brooks pleaded not guilty to one charge relating to an alleged conspiracy to hack phones between October 2000 and August 2006 and not guilty to two further charges relating to an alleged conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office by paying public officials money for stories, the report said.
A study by criminologist Eric Silver published in the journal Law and Human Behavior in 1995 showed that in three of seven states studied - New York, New Jersey and California - defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity were confined longer than defendants whose pleas failed.
Reardon, wearing a grey suit and open-necked white shirt, entered a not guilty plea to the alleged assault on his wife, Kay Reardon, on July 12.
VERDICT: Not guilty #ACCUSED: Karen Gillon CHARGE: Failed in her duty after a constituent complained she had not helped enough with a problem.
Former detective sergeant Larkin, of Elgin Drive, Wallasey, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to corrupt O'Leary.
Though the backdrop for Not Guilty is the legal system, the
Wells, who represents over eleven of the plaintiffs in their wrongful death or personal injury civil suits against the City of Santa Monica arising out of the July 16, 2003 Santa Monica Farmers' Market tragedy, stated in response to George Russell Weller's arraignment today in which he pled not guilty to ten counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence that:
Harry Street will face trial on October 2 after pleading not guilty to six charges during an appearance at Birmingham Crown Court.