Clarifying ‘not guilty’ and ‘guilty’

Published 4:16 pm Friday, February 15, 2013

I was in the courtroom Saturday during the trial of James Wesley Forde when Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson carefully and in detail explained to the jurors that the American system of law states that an accused person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the state to do so.

He further instructed the jury that each juror can vote only “not guilty” or “guilty.” Therefore, because the jury declared James Wesley Forde “not guilty” on all six counts, he is innocent of all charges.

It seemed to me that this was not clearly indicated in the article.

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I am a trained and professional journalist, so feel it is important to comment on this.


Karen Dardick

Natchez resident