not guilty

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

not guilty (plural not guilties)

  1. (law) A formal plea by a defendant of not being culpable for the crime with which the defendant is charged.
    If you do not plead, a plea of not guilty will be entered for you.
  2. (law) A verdict or formal finding by the legal system that a defendant is not culpable for the crime with which the defendant was charged.
    • 2003, D.B.C. Pierre, Vernon God Little[1], ISBN 1841954608, page 238:
      My heart beats through five not guilties. Six, seven, nine, eleven. Seventeen not guilties. The prosecutor's lips curl.
  3. A member of a jury or tribunal supporting acquittal, or a vote cast in support of acquittal.
    • 2006, John Lutz, Chill of Night[2], ISBN 0786016353, page 213:
      Two not guilties. Seven for conviction. "I'm a 'not guilty,'" she said.
  4. A person who has been acquitted of a crime.
    • 1997, David Brinkley, “June 5, 1983”, in Everyone Is Entitled to My Opinion[3], ISBN 0345409523, page 32:
      The not guilties walked out and went to work if they had jobs; the guilties were hauled away to spend maybe thirty days on the county farm growing cabbage.

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Adjective[edit]

not guilty

  1. (law) Of a person, legally innocent of a crime which they have been accused of in a court of law.
    He was found not guilty because there was a reasonable doubt.
  2. (nonstandard) Innocent.
    The jury said he was not guilty. I knew he wouldn't have done something like that.

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