What Does Acquitted Mean In A Court Of Law?
- Marvin Harvey
When an accused is ‘acquitted,’ it means that he or she will not be convicted of the crime charged by a judge or jury. If an accused is found ‘not guilty’, it means that he or she is not legally responsible for the criminal charges against him.
What is meaning of acquitted in court?
To decide officially in a court of law that someone is not guilty of a particular crime : She was acquitted.
What happens to the acquitted?
An acquittal is a resolution of some or all of the factual elements of the offense charged. The trier of fact, whether the jury or the court, must render a verdict of finding not guilty of the charged offense. A not guilty finding is an adjudication that proof at a prior proceeding was insufficient to overcome all reasonable doubt of guilt of the accused,
One who is acquitted is judicially discharged from an accusation and is absolved. The double jeopardy clause bars appeal and retrial by the prosecutor, See: Const. Amend.5. Oftentimes, acquittals will come in the form of a judgment that the defendant was “hereby dismissed of the within charge.” After an acquittal, there is nothing on which punishment could be based unless there is evidence of another offense that is otherwise admissible,
In that case, the fact that the defendant was acquitted does not render the evidence inadmissible, Further, one cannot offer as evidence the acquittal of a co-defendant to prove the other co-defendant is not guilty,
Can you be tried again after being acquitted?
California Penal Code 687- ‘ No person can be subjected to a second prosecution for a public offense for which he has once been prosecuted and convicted or acquitted.’
Why do cases get acquitted?
Meeting the Standard for a Judgment of Acquittal – A motion for a judgment of acquittal can be granted only if no reasonable jury could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime charged. This essentially means that the prosecution’s evidence is too weak to support a conviction, viewing it as generously as possible.
- Sometimes a defendant will ask for a judgment of acquittal with regard to only some of the charges.
- This might narrow the issues that the jury will consider if the judge grants the motion.
- For example, perhaps a defendant is being charged with theft from a store and assault of the store employee who caught them.
If most of the prosecution’s evidence supports the theft charge, and there is minimal evidence to support the assault charge, the judge might grant a judgment of acquittal on the assault charge alone. The jury then would proceed to consider the theft charge.
- Plea bargaining also is a way to remove charges for which the prosecution’s evidence is weaker.) A motion for a judgment of acquittal is not a shortcut to have a judge decide a case instead of a jury.
- The judge cannot substitute their own judgment for the judgment of the jury, and most judges will be reluctant to interfere with the jury’s responsibilities.
They will need to interpret inferences in favor of the prosecution and try to view the case in the way that is most favorable to the prosecution. This can be a challenging mental exercise because the defendant is presumed innocent, and the prosecution has a very high burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Does an acquittal mean not guilty?
An acquittal does not mean that the defendant is innocent of the crime—only that the prosecutor failed to prove that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the charge may remain on the defendant’s criminal record even without a conviction.
Is acquitted the same as convicted?
What Does “Acquitted” Mean, Exactly? – Essentially, a verdict of not guilty is an acquittal. If a jury or judge finds you not guilty of a criminal charge, you are acquitted and your case is closed. If you’re found guilty of a charge, you are said to be convicted and must face the penalties imposed for the crime, though you have the option to appeal.
- In this way, a conviction is the opposite of an acquittal.
- But an acquittal doesn’t mean the jury or judge found you innocent of the charge.
- It only means that the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were guilty.
- A not guilty verdict isn’t the sole means of getting an acquittal.
A trial judge or an appeals court can also determine that the evidence of guilt presented by the prosecution wasn’t sufficient, and then acquit the defendant. Normally, the prosecution cannot appeal an acquittal and you’re free of the charge when acquitted.
- This involves Americans’ constitutional protections against “double jeopardy,” or being tried twice for the same crime.
- However, under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure there is one exception: “if the defendant shall have been acquitted upon trial in a court having no jurisdiction of the offense.” In this case, the defendant may be prosecuted again in a court having the proper jurisdiction.
Keep in mind that a judge or jury can find you “not guilty” on some but not all counts of the charge or charges against you. In that case, it would constitute a partial acquittal, and you still could face penalties on the counts for which you were convicted.
Are acquitted and not guilty the same thing?
“Not guilty” and “acquittal” are synonymous. – A verdict of not guilty constitutes an acquittal. In other words, to find a defendant not guilty is to acquit. At trial, an acquittal occurs when the jury (or the judge if it’s a judge trial) determines that the prosecution hasn’t proved the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- But see Jury Nullification,) A jury can find a defendant not guilty of some, but not all charges.
- In that scenario, the acquittal is only partial.
- A not-guilty verdict isn’t the only way for an acquittal to come about.
- Trial judges and appeals courts can, for example, effectively acquit defendants by finding that there was insufficient evidence of guilt.
While there’s no way for the prosecution to appeal a verdict of not guilty, there is sometimes an opportunity to appeal a court’s judgment of acquittal. (For example, see Acquittals by Judges in Jury Trials,)
Are acquittals final?
United States – With one exception, in the United States an acquittal cannot be appealed by the prosecution because of constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy, The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled: If the judgment is upon an acquittal, the defendant, indeed, will not seek to have it reversed, and the government cannot.U.S.v.
- Sanges, 144 U.S.310 (1892).
- Ball v.U.S.
- 163 U.S.662, 671 (1896) A verdict of acquittal, although not followed by any judgment, is a bar to a subsequent prosecution for the same offense.
- Ball, supra, at 672.
- Society’s awareness of the heavy personal strain which a criminal trial represents for the individual defendant is manifested in the willingness to limit the Government to a single criminal proceeding to vindicate its very vital interest in enforcement of criminal laws.
United States v. Jorn, 400 U.S.470, 479 (1971) Whether the trial is to a jury or, as here, to the bench, subjecting the defendant to postacquittal factfinding proceedings going to guilt or innocence violates the Double Jeopardy Clause, Smalis v. Pennsylvania, 476 U.S.140 (1986) It was decided in Fong Foo v.
- United States, 369 U.S.141 (1962) that the prosecution cannot appeal a judgment of acquittal by a jury.
- In United States v.
- Jenkins, 420 U.S.358 (1975), this was held applicable to bench trials.
- In Arizona v.
- Rumsey, 467 U.S.203 (1984), it was ruled that in a bench trial, when a judge was holding a separate hearing after the jury trial, to decide if the defendant should be sentenced to death or life imprisonment, the judge decided that the circumstances of the case did not permit death to be imposed.
On appeal, the judge’s ruling was found to be erroneous. However, even though the decision to impose a life sentence instead of death was based on the judge’s erroneous interpretation of the law, the finding of life imprisonment in the original case constituted an acquittal of the death penalty.
- Thus death could not be imposed upon a subsequent trial.
- Even though the acquittal of the death penalty was erroneous in that case, the acquittal must stand.
- The only exception to an acquittal being final is if the defendant was never in actual jeopardy.
- If a defendant bribes a judge and obtains acquittal as a result of a bench trial, the acquittal is invalid because the defendant was never in jeopardy in the first place.
Harry Aleman v. Judges of the Criminal Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, et al., 138 F.3d 302 (7th Cir.1998). An acquittal, while conclusive as to the criminal law, does not necessarily bar private civil actions in tort or on some other grounds as a result of the facts alleged in the charge.
For example, the City of Los Angeles was held liable in 1994 for the 1991 Rodney King beating despite state acquittals in 1992 of all four of its four main LAPD defendants, and in 1997 O.J. Simpson was held civilly liable for wrongful death even after being tried and acquitted in 1995 of murder, An acquittal also does not bar prosecution for the same offenses under a statute of a different jurisdiction.
For example, in the United States, someone acquitted of a state murder charge can be retried for the same actions on a federal charge of violating civil rights, and police acquitted of a state charge of felonious assault, as in the Rodney King case, can likewise be tried on federal civil rights charges. Look up acquittal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
What percent of trials end in acquittal?
Canada – In Canada, 2017-2018 data provided by Statistics Canada indicate an overall rate of conviction of 62% (of those charged in adult court). This is much lower than one might infer from the 3.6% acquittal rate because 1/3rd of the cases are withdrawn (either directly or indirectly via a “Crown Stay”) before they reach a verdict.
Do you get compensation if you are acquitted?
Claiming Your Costs After Acquittal – In fact, if you are acquitted your advocate can ask the court to make an application for your costs to be reimbursed ‘out of central funds’. These costs must be reasonable and cover for example the cost of your journeys to and from court on each occasion.
How will a Judgement be made in case of acquittal?
FIRST DIVISION January 11, 2018 G.R. No.223099 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee vs. LINO ALEJANDRO y PIMENTEL, Accused-Appellant D E C I S I O N TIJAM, J.: This is an appeal from the Decision 1 dated February 1 7, 2015 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R.
CR-H.C. No.05256, which affirmed the July 26, 2011 Joint Decision 2 rendered by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cauayan City, Isabela, Branch 20 in Criminal Case Nos. Br.20-6096 & 20-6097, finding accused-appellant Lino Alejandro y Pimentel guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of rape. Accused-appellant was charged with two counts of rape, defined and penalized under Article 266-A, paragraph 1(a) of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Republic Act No.8369 3, of a 12-year old minor, AAA.4 Upon arraignment, accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty and trial ensued.
During trial, AAA testified that accused-appellant followed her, grabbed her, and brought her to the back of a school. There, accused-appellant removed AAA’s shorts and t-shirt, laid on top of her, and inserted his penis into her vagina.5 Two months later, accused-appellant went inside AAA’s house through a window one night, undressed himself and AAA, and inserted his penis inside her vagina.
- On both occasions, accused-appellant threatened to kill AAA if she told anybody what had happened.6 AAA eventually told her mother, BBB, about the incident.
- BBB brought her to the Municipal Health Office where she was examined by Dr. CCC. Dr.
- CCC testified that she found, among others, deep, healed, old and superficial lacerations in the hymen of AAA and concluded that these indicated positive sexual intercourse.7 Accused-appellant, through his counsel, manifested in open court that he would no longer present any evidence for the defense and submitted the case for decision.8 On July 26, 2011, the RTC promulgated a Decision acquitting the accused-appellant.
On the same day, however, the RTC recalled the said decision and issued an Order, stating: Upon manifestation of Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Roderick Cruz that there were Orders that were inadvertently placed in the record of Criminal Case No. Br.20-4979 involving the same accused but different private complainant-victim, XXX, which if considered will result in a different verdict.
- The Order dated September 24, 2007, showed that private complainant-victim, AAA, in the abovequoted cases, Crim. Case No.
- Br-20-6096 & 6097, has actually testified in Court.
- WHEREFORE, to rectify the error committed and in order to prevent the miscarriage of justice, the Decision promulgated today acquitting the accused is hereby RECALLED and SET ASIDE.
SO ORDERED.9 Accused-appellant filed a Motion for Reconsideration 10 arguing that a judgment of acquittal is immediately final and executory and can neither be withdrawn nor modified, because to do so would place an accused-appellant in double jeopardy.
The RTC denied the motion in an Order 11 dated July 26, 2011, explaining its denial, thus: Admittedly, the Court erroneously declared in its Decision that private complainant AAA did not testify in Court. When in truth and in fact said private complainant took the witness stand on September 3, 2008 as evidenced by the Order dated September 3, 2008 which was mistakenly captioned as Crim.
Case No.4979 instead of Crim. Cases Nos. Br.20- 6096 & 6097 and as a result thereof, the Order dated September 3, 2008 was erroneously attached by the Court employee to the records of another criminal case entitled People of the Philippines versus Lino Alejandro, wherein the private complainant is a certain xxx.
Section 14, Article 8 of the 1997 Constitution requires that the Decision should be based on facts and the law. The Court believes and so holds that the Decision contravenes the highest law of the land because it is not in accordance with the law and the facts, and therefore, the judgment of acquittal is invalid.
As dispenser of truth and justice, the Court should be candid enough to admit its error and rectify itself with dispatch to avoid grave miscarriage of justice.12 A Joint Decision 13 dated July 26, 2011 was rendered by the RTC, finding accused-appellant guilty of two counts of rape and disposed as follows: WHEREFORE, finding the accused LINO ALEJANDRO y PIMENTEL guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two (2) counts of Simple Rape as defined and penalized under Article 266-A paragraph (D) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act 8353, he is hereby sentenced to suffer, in each count, the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indentify the victim, minor AAA in the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (₱50,000.00) and FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (₱50,000.00) as moral damages for each count.
- Costs to be paid by the accused.
- SO ORDERED.14 Accused-appellant appealed to the CA, contending that the R TC gravely erred in recalling its previously promulgated decision acquitting the accused-appellant; and for convicting the accused-appellant despite the prosecution’s failure to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.15 The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) countered that there was no error in the recall of the acquittal.
It ratiocinated that the public prosecutor’s manifestation was filed on the same day of the promulgation of the recalled decision, pointing out that AAA actually testified during the trial and her testimony, if considered, would result in a different verdict.
The OSG stressed that what was proscribed under the double jeopardy clause was the filing of an appeal to allow the prosecutor to seek a second trier of facts of defendant’s guilt after having failed with the first.16 The CA dismissed the appeal and held that the RTC’s Order of recalling and setting aside the judgment of acquittal was justified.
It found that: The initial decision of the RTC acquitting the accused failed to express clearly and distinctly the facts of the case, as the records on which the acquittal was based was incomplete and inaccurate. Judges are expected to make complete findings of facts in their decisions, and scrutinize closely the legal aspects of the case in the light of the evidence presented.
- Obviously, with the unintentional exclusion of the testimony of the private complainant from the records of the two criminal cases, the RTC could not have made complete findings of facts in the initial decision.
- The verdict of acquittal had no factual basis.
- It was null and void, and should have necessarily been recalled and set aside.17 The CA affirmed the conviction of accused-appellant and modified the award of damages, as follows: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal is hereby DISMISSED and the July 26, 2011 Joint Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan City, Isabela, Branch 20, in Criminal Case Nos.
Br.20- 6096 and 20-6097, finding Lino Alejandro y Pimentel guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two (2) counts of rape is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION, in that Alejandro is ordered to pay legal interest on the moral damages awarded to the victim at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of finality of this decision until fully paid.
SO ORDERED.18 Hence, this petition for review. Accused-appellant argues that despite the RTC’s error and misapprehension of facts, it still had no power to rectify such mistake as said acquittal had attained finality after valid promulgation. The error committed by the RTC cannot be validly recalled without transgressing the accused-appellant’s right against double jeopardy.
He insists that not only was the decision of acquittal final and executory, the manifestation of the public prosecutor, which was the catalyst in having the decision recalled, was equivalent to a motion for reconsideration of the decision. He also points out that the CA erred in sustaining the conviction for rape despite AAA’s incredible testimony.19 The OSG did not submit a supplemental brief and adopted its Appellee’s Brief before the CA where it stated that the recall of the earlier decision of the trial court, by reason of the manifestation filed by the public prosecutor, does not actually result in double jeopardy.
The OSG maintained that what is proscribed under the double jeopardy clause is the filing of an appeal that would allow the prosecutor to seek a second trier of fact of defendant’s guilt after having failed with the first. It stressed that here, the OSG only manifested that the court overlooked a fact, which if not considered, will result to a great injustice to the private complainant.
It pressed that there was no double jeopardy because there was no presentation of additional evidence to prove or strengthen the State’s case. The appeal has merit. In our jurisdiction, We adhere to the finality-of-acquittal doctrine, that is, a judgment of acquittal is final and unappealable.20 The 1987 Constitution guarantees the right of the accused against double jeopardy, thus: Section 7, Rule 117 of the 1985 and 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure strictly adhere to the constitutional proscription against double jeopardy and provide for the requisites in order for double jeopardy to attach.
For double jeopardy to attach, the following elements must concur: (1) a valid information sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction of the crime charged; (2) a court of competent jurisdiction; (3) the accused has been arraigned and had pleaded; and (4) the accused was convicted or acquitted or the case was dismissed without his express consent.21 Here, all the elements were present.
There was a valid information for two counts of rape over which the RTC had jurisdiction and to which the accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty. After the trial, a judgment of acquittal was thereafter rendered and promulgated on July 25, 2011.
- What is peculiar in this case is that a judgment of acquittal was rendered based on the mistaken notion that the private complainant failed to testify; allegedly because of the mix-up of orders with a different case involving the same accused-appellant.
- This, however, does not change the fact that a judgment of acquittal had already been promulgated.
Indeed, a judgment of acquittal, whether ordered by the trial or the appellate court, is final, unappealable, and immediately executory upon its promulgation.22 The rule on double jeopardy, however, is not without exceptions, which are: (1) Where there has been deprivation of due process and where there is a finding of a mistrial, or (2) Where there has been a grave abuse of discretion under exceptional circumstances.
- We find that these exceptions do not exist in this case.23 Here, there was no deprivation of due process or mistrial because the records show that the prosecution was actually able to present their case and their witnesses.
- A mere manifestation also will not suffice in assailing a judgment of acquittal.
A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules should have been filed. A judgment of acquittal may only be assailed in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules. If the petition, regardless of its nomenclature, merely calls for an ordinary review of the findings of the court a quo, the constitutional right of the accused against double jeopardy would be violated.24 In People v.
Laguio, Jr., 25 this Court stated that the only instance when double jeopardy will not attach is when the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion, thus: x x x The only instance when double jeopardy will not attach is when the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, such as where the prosecution was denied the opportunity to present its case or where the trial was a sham.
However, while certiorari may be availed of to correct an erroneous acquittal, the petitioner in such an extraordinary proceeding must clearly demonstrate that the trial court blatantly abused its authority to a point so grave as to deprive it of its very power to dispense justice.26 In this case, the acquittal was not even questioned on the basis of grave abuse of discretion.
- It was only through a supposed mere manifestation of the prosecutor, a copy of which was not in the records, that the RTC was apprised of the supposed mistake it committed.
- A similar instance had been ruled upon by this Court in Argel v.
- Judge Pascua, 27 where the Judge was sanctioned for gross ignorance of the law for recalling a judgment of acquittal, thus: As stated earlier, complainant was accused of murder in Crim.
Case No.2999-V of the RTC of Vigan, Ilocos Sur. On 13 August 1993 judgment was promulgated acquitting him on the ground that there was no witness who positively identified him as the perpetrator of the crime. However after respondent’s attention was called by the private complainant’s counsel to the fact that there was such a witness and confirmed by respondent upon re-reading her notes, she issued an Order dated 16 August 1993 stating her intention to “revise” the previous judgment of acquittal, branded the same as “uncalled for” and “not final,” and reset the case for another “rendering of the decision.” The reason given was that the judgment of acquittal was rendered without all the facts and circumstances being brought to her attention.
Respondent Judge explained that the transcript of stenographic notes of the testimony of eyewitness Tito Retreta was not attached to the records when she wrote her decision. Thus, in a Decision dated 19 August 1993, respondent Judge declared herein complainant Miguel Argel guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder on the basis of the eyewitness account of Tito Retreta, sentenced complainant Argel to seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua, and to pay the heirs of the victim ₱50,000.00 as civil indemnity and ₱60,000.00 for actual damages.
T oo elementary is the rule that a decision once final is no longer susceptible to amendment or alteration except to correct errors which are clerical in nature, to clarify any ambiguity caused by an omission or mistake in the dispositive portion or to rectify a travesty of justice brought about by a moro-moro or mock trial.1wphi1 A final decision is the law of the case and is immutable and unalterable regardless of any claim of error or incorrectness.
- In criminal cases, a judgment of acquittal is immediately final upon its promulgation.
- It cannot be recalled for correction or amendment except in the cases already mentioned nor withdrawn by another order reconsidering the dismissal of the case since the inherent power of a court to modify its order or decision does not extend to a judgment of acquittal in a criminal case.
Complainant herein was already acquitted of murder by respondent in a decision promulgated on 13 August 1993. Applying the aforestated rule, the decision became final and immutable on the same day. As a member of the bench who is always admonished to be conversant with the latest legal and judicial developments, more so of elementary rules, respondent should have known that she could no longer “revise” her decision of acquittal without violating not only an elementary rule of procedure but also the constitutional proscription against double jeopardy.
- When the law is so elementary, not to know it constitutes gross ignorance of the law.
- Emphasis Ours) 28 Similarly, in this case, the RTC was reminded of the fact that private complainant AAA testified during the trial, only after it had already rendered and promulgated the judgment of acquittal.
- The R TC then realized that had AAA’s testimony been taken into account, the case would have had a different outcome.
Consequently, the RTC issued an Order recalling the judgment of acquittal for the purpose of rectifying its error, and thereafter, rendered a Decision convicting the accused-appellant for two counts of rape. This, however, cannot be countenanced for a contrary ruling would transgress the accused-appellant’s constitutionally-enshrined right against double jeopardy.
WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby GRANTED. The Decision dated February 17, 2015 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No.05256, which affirmed the July 26, 2011 Joint Decision rendered by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cauayan City, Isabela, Branch 20 in Criminal Case Nos. Br.20-6096 & 20-6097, finding accused-appellant Lino.
Alejandro y Pimentel guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of rape, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accused-appellant Lino Alejandro y Pimentel is hereby ACQUITTED and is ordered immediately RELEASED from custody, unless he is being held for another lawful cause.
Let a copy of this Decision be furnished to the Director of the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa City for immediate implementation, who is then also directed to report to this Court the action he has taken within five (5) days from receipt of this Decision. SO ORDERED. NOEL GIMENEZ TIJAM Associate Justice WE CONCUR: MARIA LOURDES P.A.
SERENO Chief Justice Chairperson
|TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice||DIOSDADO M. PERALTA Associate Justice|
MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice C E R T I F I C A T I O N Pursuant to the Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
MARIA LOURDES P.A. SERENO Chief Justice Footnotes * Designated as additional Member as per Raffle dated June 28, 2017.1 Penned by Associate Justice Ramon A. Cruz, and concurred in by Associate Justices Remedios A. Salazar-Fernando and Eduardo B. Peralta, Jr., rollo, pp.2-12.2 Penned by Judge Reymundo L.
Aumentado, CA rollo, pp.16-23.3 Otherwise known as the “Family Courts Act of 1997”.4 Pursuant to People v. Cabalquinto, 533 Phil.703 (2006), the real name and personal circumstances of the victim, and any other information tending to establish or compromise her identity, including those of her immediate family or household members, are not disclosed.5 Id.6 Id.
- At 3-4.7 Id.
- At 4.8 Id.9 Original Records, p.40.10 CA rollo, p.79-80.11 Id.
- At 82.12 Id.13 Id.
- At 83-90.14 Id.
- At 90.15 Id.
- At 64.16 Id.
- At 113-114.17 Id.
- At 130.18 Id.
- At 134.19 Rollo, pp.35-36.20 People v. Hon.
- Asis, et al., 643 Phil.462, 469 (2010).21 Chiok v.
- People, et al., 774 Phil.230, 247-248 (2015).22 Villareal v.
Aliga, 724 Phil.47, 62 (2014).23 Id. at 64.24 Id. at 60.25 547 Phil.296 (2007).26 Id. at 315.27 415 Phil.608 (2001).28 Id. at 611-612. The Lawphil Project – Arellano Law Foundation
When can an accused be acquitted?
( ACT NO. V OF 1898 ) – Part VI PROCEEDINGS IN PROSECUTIONS 1 Chapter XXIII OF TRIALS BEFORE COURTS OF SESSION Trial to be conducted by Public Prosecutor 265A. In every trial before a Court of Session, the prosecution shall be conducted by a Public Prosecutor.
Opening case for prosecution 265B. When the accused appears or is brought before the Court in pursuance of section 205C, the prosecutor shall open his case by describing the charge brought against the accused and stating by what evidence he proposes to prove the guilt of the accused. Discharge 265C. If, upon consideration of the record of the case and the documents submitted therewith, and after hearing the submissions of the accused and the prosecution in this behalf, the Court considers that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused, it shall discharge the accused and record the reasons for so doing.
Framing charge 265D.(1) If, after such consideration and hearing as aforesaid, the Court is of opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence, it shall frame in writing a charge against the accused. (2) Where the Court frames a charge under sub-section (1), the charge shall be read and explained to the accused shall be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence charged or claims to be tried.
- Conviction of plea of guilty 265E.
- If the accused pleads guilty, the Court shall record the plea and may, in its discretion, convict him thereon.
- Date for prosecution evidence 265F.
- If the accused refuses to plead, or does not plead, or claims to be tried or is not convicted under section 265E, the Court shall fix a date for the examination of witnesses, and may, on the application of the prosecution, issue any process for compelling the attendance of any witness or the production of any document or other thing.
Evidence of prosecution 265G.(1) On the date so fixed, the Court shall proceed to take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution. (2) The Court may, in its discretion, permit the cross-examination of any witness to be deferred until any other witness or witnesses have been examined or recall any witness for further cross-examination.
- Acquittal 265H.
- If, after taking the evidence for the prosecution, examining the accused and hearing the prosecution and the defence on the point, the Court considers that there is no evidence that the accused committed the offence, the Court shall record an order of acquittal.
- Entering upon defence 265-I.(1) Where the accused is not acquitted under section 265H, he shall be called upon to enter on his defence and adduce any evidence he may have in support thereof.
(2) If the accused puts in any written statement, the Court shall file it with the record. (3) If the accused applies for the issue of any process for compelling the attendance of any witness or the production of any document or thing, the Court shall issue such process unless he considers for reasons to be recorded, that such application should be refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice.
Arguments 265J. When the examination of the witnesses (if any) for the defence is complete, the prosecutor shall sum up his case and the accused or his pleader shall be entitled to reply: Provided that where any point of law is raised by the accused or his pleader, the prosecution may, with the permission of the Court, make his submissions with regard to such point of law.
Judgment of acquittal or conviction 265K.(1) After hearing arguments and points of law (if any), the Court shall give a judgment in the case. (2) Previous conviction 265L. In a case where a previous conviction is charged under the provisions of sub-section (7) of section 221, and the accused does not admit that he has been previously convicted as alleged in the charge, the Court may, after it has convicted the said accused under section 265E or section 265K, take evidence in respect of the alleged previous conviction, and shall record a finding thereon: Provided that no such charge shall be read out by the Court nor shall the accused be asked to plead thereto nor shall the previous conviction be referred to by the prosecution or in any evidence adduced by it, unless and until the accused has been convicted under section 265E or section 265K.]
- The term honourable acquittal has been mentioned nowhere either in the constitution nor in the statutes, but has been coined by the Indian Judiciary, and the meaning of the term of hon’ble acquittal was first discussed in the case of Reserve Bank of India v Bhopal Singh Panchal, and later in the case of Inspector General of Police v S Samuthiram,
- In the case of RBI v Bhopal Singh Panchal, the hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement specifically held that an honourable acquittal is when the accused is acquitted after fully considering the evidence of the prosecution and the prosecution has miserably failed in proving the charges against accused.
What are requirements of acquittal?
P.C, the Magistrate may acquit the accused at any stage of the case if, after hearing the prosecutors and the accused and for reasons to be recorded, he considers that the charge is groundless or there is no probability of the accused being convicted of any offence while under Section 249 Cr.
What are the types of acquittal?
Acquittal and Honourable Acquittal When acquittal is granted to a person, it is generally given under two circumstances, firstly an acquittal which is granted due to the failure of prosecution to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt (where the accused is fully exonerated) and secondly an unconditional acquittal wherein the accused is acquitted giving him the benefit of doubt.
This term has been mostly used in the cases of reinstallation of employees to their previous services, or for those who want their job back from which they have been removed due to disciplinary actions. The courts in ample of their judgements have widely held that only those who have been fully exonerated or honourable acquitted have the right to be reinstated into the services, since mere acquittal does not prove the innocence of a person as it cannot be conclusively inferred that the person was not involved in the criminal activity or did not have any criminal antecedents, but only through honourable acquittal.
- Reserve Bank of India v Bhopal Singh Panchal (1994) 1 SCC 541.
- Inspector General of Police v S Samuthiram (2013) 1 SCC 598.
- Reserve Bank of India v Bhopal Singh Panchal (1994) 1 SCC 541.
What is a sentence for acquittal?
Example Sentences – The case resulted in acquittal of the defendant. Several jurors voted for acquittal, The case resulted in an acquittal of the defendant. Recent Examples on the Web The request for a new trial was denied, as the court found that Scott’s fingerprints alone would not likely have led to an acquittal on retrial and ruled there were no issues with the trial evidence that would have led to Leo’s exoneration. ABC News, 22 Sep.2022 His first Soundsuit was made in 1992, in response to the acquittal of Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King, sparking days of unrest. — Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 1 June 2022 As people react to the acquittal of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse and the Wisconsin parade attack that resulted in six deaths and dozens of injuries, some on social media are trying to draw a comparison between the two cases. — Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, 26 Nov.2021 Rittenhouse reacted emotionally to the acquittal on Friday, completely breaking down after the final verdict was read. — David Rutz, Fox News, 19 Nov.2021 These were the factors experts said helped lead to Rittenhouse’s acquittal, — Christina Maxouris, CNN, 19 Nov.2021 The reinvestigation found that the FBI and New York Police Department withheld key evidence that would likely have led to the two men’s acquittal, The New York Times reports. — Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 18 Nov.2021 Then came the 1992 uprising in late April and early May, six days of protests and riots in response to the acquittal of four LAPD officers in the beating of Rodney G. King. — Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep.2021 The acquittal also means the state will pay the defendants’ legal fees. — Byjeffrey Mervis, science.org, 17 Nov.2022 See More These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘acquittal.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback,
What do judges say when someone is not guilty?
Common Words and Phrases Relating to Jury Service | Eastern District of Texas | United States District Court None of this information is to be regarded as instruction of law to be applied by jurors for a case in which they serve. The judge will instruct the jury in each separate case as to the law that applies.
Acquittal : Judgment that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, a verdict of “not guilty.” Arraignment : A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
Beyond a reasonable doubt : A verdict of “guilty” in a criminal case means that the jury has found that the person’s guilt has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. The proof has to leave you with the conviction that the charge is true. Challenges : Individuals may be excused from service on a jury by a judge or the attorneys in a particular case for various reasons.
- For cause : The juror may be excused for cause, meaning that he or she may have some connection to the parties in the case which would cause an impartial observer to believe the juror might be biased either in favor or against one of the parties. There is no limit to the amount of challenges for cause that might be used by either side in a case. The judge must agree with the cause cited for the challenge before the juror is released.
- Peremptory : Each side has a certain number of challenges that can be used to excuse a juror without giving a reason. The judge must excuse the juror in question if a peremptory challenge is issued. This does not mean that the juror is incompetent in any way. It may mean that the attorney is exercising a “hunch” but cannot point to any specific reason why a juror may not be impartial.
Civil case/civil suit : A civil case begins when a person or corporation (known as the “plaintiff”) files a complaint that another person or corporation (known as the “defendant”) failed to carry out a legal duty. If the court finds that the defendant did not carry out the legal duty it may order the defendant to pay compensation to the plaintiff.
- Conviction : A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Counsel : Another name for lawyer or attorney.
- Court Reporter: A person who makes word-for-word record of what is said in court.
- Damages : Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Defendant : In a civil case, the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings suit; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Deliberations : The name for the discussions held by the jury to decide the outcome of a case.
- Evidence : Any type of proof legally presented during trial through witnesses, records or exhibits.
- Felony : A serious crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
Foreperson : Before beginning deliberations, the jury must select a foreperson who will be responsible for making sure discussion is carried on in a free and open manner, that all issues have been completely discussed and that every juror has been given an opportunity to participate.
- The foreperson also counts the votes and completes and signs the verdict form.
- Grand jury : A group of 16-23 citizens who listen to evidence of criminal activity presented by the prosecutors (known in the federal system as “U.S.
- Attorneys”) and decide whether there is enough evidence to charge an individual or individuals with the commission of a crime.
Hearsay : Hearsay statements are those made by a witness who did not actually see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. Hearsay statements are not usually admitted into evidence. Impartial : Without any prejudice or bias or preconception.
- Jury Instructions : The guidelines given to the jury by the judge at the beginning and at the end of the trial explaining what the law is in the case and how the jurors should evaluate the evidence.
- Jury pool : The group of people reporting for jury duty at the court location from which a jury will be chosen to serve.
- Litigants : The parties who are involved in a lawsuit.
Misdemeanor : An offense punishable by one year or imprisonment or less. See also felony. Mistrial : An invalid trial caused by some kind of fundamental error in law or procedure. If a mistrial is declared, the trial must start over again with a new jury.
- Motion : A request by a litigant to a judge for a decision on a case-related issue.
- Nolo contendere : Literally “no contest.” A plea of nolo contendere has the same effect as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes but cannot be used as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
- Perjury : A false statement made under oath in court.
Petit jury : Literally “little jury.” Contrasted with the grand jury which hears evidence of possible crimes, the petit jury is impaneled to sit on an individual civil or criminal case and render a verdict in that case. Plaintiff : The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
Plea : In a criminal case, the defendant’s statement pleading “guilty” or “not guilty” in answer to the charges. See also nolo contendere. Polled : Calling the names of the jurors and asking individually or collectively how they voted before the verdict is officially recorded. Preponderance of the evidence : Greater weight of the evidence.
This refers to the amount of proof required in a civil case which is a lower standard than “beyond a reasonable doubt” required in a criminal case. Prosecute : To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
- Subpoena : An official order from the court that a person present himself or herself at a certain time.
- Testimony : Statements made under oath by a witness.
- Unanimous : All jurors must agree on the verdict.
U.S. Attorney : A lawyer appointed by the President in each judicial district to prosecute and defend cases for the federal government. The U.S. Attorney employs a staff of Assistant U.S. Attorneys who appear as the government’s attorneys in individual cases.
Verdict : The official decision or finding of the jury which is reported to the court. Voir dire : Means “to speak the truth” in French. It refers to the examination of prospective jurors by the judge and attorneys to determine whether the individuals are qualified to serve on a jury in a particular case.
Witness : Someone who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard or experienced. : Common Words and Phrases Relating to Jury Service | Eastern District of Texas | United States District Court
Does acquitted mean innocent?
Posted on May 10, 2022 While an acquittal is a general term for a not guilty verdict, there is a subtle difference between the two terms under criminal law. Not guilty means that a defendant is not legally answerable for the criminal charge filed against him/her.
- An acquittal is a finding by a judge or jury that a defendant is not guilty of the crime charged.
- Note that an acquittal does necessarily not mean that the defendant is innocent in a criminal case.
- Rather, it means that the prosecutor failed to prove that the defendant was guilty ” beyond a reasonable doubt,” Note too that an acquittal is not the same thing as when charges get dismissed,
A dismissal comes before a jury trial and usually takes place because:
- the prosecutor does not believe there is enough evidence to support the case, or
- the judge decides a case lacks sufficient support to go forward,
In a dismissal, the case against the defendant ends and he/she does not have to stand trial. If a judge or jury acquits a defendant, then double jeopardy attaches and the defendant has a complete defense to an additional prosecution for the same offense in the same jurisdiction. An acquittal is a finding by a judge or jury that a defendant is not guilty of the crime charged.
How do you get acquitted in court?
The verdict – If a defendant is found not guilty, by the magistrate, jury or judge, they will be ‘acquitted’ and free to go. If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty by the judge or jury, they are convicted and the judge will pass sentence. If you are a victim or witness in the case and have left the court before the trial has ended and would like to know the outcome of the case, you can contact the person who asked you to come to court.
What is the difference between acquitted and dismissed?
Is acquittal the same as charge dismissal? – If a defendant is acquitted, it means that the case went to trial but the prosecutor was not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she committed the crime. A case dismissal is brought about if a case does not proceed to a jury trial.
This can be due to a variety of reasons but normally because the judge does not believe that the case has the requisite credibility or the prosecutor does not have the necessary evidence to meet the burden of proof at the preliminary hearing. Another reason for case dismissal is if a judge believes that there are insufficient resources to try the case.
Judges are reluctant to waste court time and resources so unless there is a reasonable chance of securing a conviction, the case may be dismissed. That means no trial and the defendant can walk free. Criminal defense lawyers can also petition a judge to dismiss a case on the following legal grounds:
The defendant was arrested without probable cause Errors were made in the criminal complaint or charging documents Unlawful search and seizure performed Insufficient evidence to support the charges
It is worth noting here that if the charges are dismissed, “jeopardy” has not been attached to the case. This means that the defendant, in a felony case, can be charged again with the same crime under certain conditions. In the case of an acquittal, “double jeopardy” applies and the defendant cannot be prosecuted again for the same crime because he or she is understood to already have been tried for the same charge on a prior occasion in the same jurisdiction.
It is also important to make the distinction between case dismissal and dropped charges, While case dismissal is ordered by a judge, only the prosecution may drop the charges against a defendant—this is usually due to a lack of supporting evidence. Whether a case is dismissed or dropped, the outcome is the same—the case does not proceed to trial and the defendant does not have to answer to the charges.
Often, if charges cannot be dropped or a case dismissed, the prosecutor can be persuaded by a criminal defense lawyer to reduce the charges to a lesser offense. This is often the outcome of a successful plea deal and it may require the defendant to plead guilty to the lesser charge which turns out to be beneficial to both the prosecution and the defense.
When an accused is acquitted?
Acquittal And Discharge As per Section 227, if, upon consideration of the record of the case and the documents submitted therewith, and after hearing the submissions of the accused and the prosecution on this behalf, the Judge considers that there is not sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused, he shall discharge the accused and record his reasons for so doing.
- If after evaluating the evidence given by the prosecution, the judge considers that there is no evidence that the accused has committed the offence, the judge acquits the accused person under Section 232.
- Ey Differences between Acquittal and Discharge After hearing both sides, and verifying all the evidence, if the judge is of the view that there is not sufficient evidence against the accused, the basis of which the case may proceed further In such a case, he/she gives the order for discharge and records the reasons for such order.
Whereas, an order for acquittal is given by the court when it reaches the conclusion that there is no strong evidence against the accused that can prove the commission of the offence by him. Acquittal is a verdict in the criminal case that the accused is not guilty of the offence.
On the other hand, discharge is an order given by the Magistrate that there are not enough grounds to lead the proceedings further against the accused. Discharge of the accused takes place, prior to the framing of charges. On the other hand, acquittal takes place after the charges are framed against the accused.
In case of discharge, fresh proceedings can be started if strong and material evidence is found. In contrast, acquittal restrains the second trial regarding the same offence or a different offence, considering the same facts.