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If someone pleads guilty to a crime, can I then describe them as being "convicted"? I recognise that a person who pleads guilty to a crime will have a conviction on their record. The confusion arises because, in the passive phrase "John was convicted", the implication is that he was convicted by a subject. It seems strange to say that John convicted himself.

To put it simply, is "John plead guilty" synonymous with "John was convicted"?

  • This is more legal than linguistic, but doesn’t a conviction involve a judgement? Someone can plead guilty and be found not guilty, in theory at least. – Lawrence Aug 22 '18 at 12:57
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plea – Alex_ander Aug 22 '18 at 14:53
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To put it simply, is "John plead guilty" synonymous with "John was convicted"?

No. The court convicts John. John doesn't convict himself.

John would still be the defendant or the accused.

A person may plea guilty but not be convicted, for example if John was covering for Jane in order to protect her. John could then be convicted of a different crime (preventing the course of justice, interfering with the investigation etc) but not of the crime he plead guilty to.

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