An Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy was acquitted of perjury yesterday. The jury found Deputy Justin Johnson not guilty following a trial. Johnson had been accused of lying during testimony at a motions hearing.
This is the second time the case has been tried. The first time, the jury hung, meaning they were unable to reach a unanimous agreement. When that happens, a mistrial is declared. The prosecution can choose to either retry the case (as they did in this case), offer a plea bargain or dismiss the case altogether.
The question remains how will the charges impact Johnson’s credibility moving forward. On the one hand, he was found not guilty, so maybe it is irrelevant. On the other, the burden of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the highest legal standard. A jury finding him not guilty is not necessarily the same as finding him innocent. A finding of not guilty simply the means the prosecution did not present enough evidence to prove he lied.