Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

CRIME: Jury finds defendant ‘not guilty,’ not ‘innocent’

Letter by Ronald E. Thompson, Gig Harbor on May 23, 2011 at 10:21 am | 1 Comment »
May 23, 2011 2:01 pm

In your editorial (5-22) regarding the jury findings in the Maurice Clemmons cases, you stated that the jury found the defendant to be innocent in an earlier case. For your information, juries do not have the legal right to find a defendant “innocent.” Juries make a finding of guilty, not guilty or guilty by reason of insanity only.

The jury in the earlier Clemmons case made a finding of “not guilty.” The is a huge difference between “innocent” and “not guilty.” A prime example is State of California vs. O.J. Simpson. Not guilty means there was reasonable doubt in the state’s case. That finding does not necessarily mean the defendant was innocent.

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