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nolle prosequi

(no-lay pro-say-kwee) n. Latin for "we shall no longer prosecute," which is a declaration made to the judge by a prosecutor in a criminal case (or by a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit) either before or during trial, meaning the case against the defendant is being dropped. The statement is an admission that the charges cannot be proved, that evidence has demonstrated either innocence or a fatal flaw in the prosecution's claim or the district attorney has become convinced the accused is innocent. Understandably, usage of the phrase is rare. In the 1947 courtroom movie, Boomerang! the climactic moment arrived when the District Attorney himself proved the accused person innocent and declared nolle prosequi.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications