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A serious criminal charge does not always lead to conviction

Just because you are charged with a crime doesn't mean you will be convicted. In many instances, the prosecution does not have enough evidence to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt. In other cases, the prosecution makes mistakes that cause a judge to declare a mis-trial.

Some recent acquittals in New York include:

  • A former Queens undercover policeman was found not guilty of making false accusations. The detective was charged with falsely accusing five men of selling drugs to him.
  • A known mobster was acquitted of racketeering and murder charges in May by a Brooklyn federal jury.
  • A federal jury found a New York businessman not guilty of tax fraud.
  • An Occupy Wall Street protester was acquitted of disorderly conduct charges.
  • Some sex abuse trials of members of Brooklyn's Hasidic community have ended in dismissals; there was one acquittal.
  • A doctor in upstate New York was acquitted on all charges except DWI after the hit-and-run death of an 18-year old girl
  • A federal appeals court reversed the conviction of a Goldman Sachs computer programmer.

And in New Jersey:

  • An Essex County jury acquitted the defendants of murdering Victoria Carmen White in South Maplewood
  • A Newark man was acquitted on charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

And further afield:

  • An ex-police officer in Houston was acquitted in the beating death of a 15-year-old burglary suspect.
  • Former Vice-presidential candidate John Edwards was acquitted of campaign finance violations.
  • In Alabama, a jury acquitted multiple defendants charged with bribery and corruption in an effort to expand legalized gambling.
  • A federal jury in Wisconsin acquitted two men of price fixing after a lengthy government investigation.

Source: New York Times, "Former Undercover Queens Detective Acquitted on 2010 Charges," May 31,2012.


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