Is the second part of this sentence redundant?

He was acquitted of and absolved from all the charges of corruption

Since acquit and absolve mean almost the same thing, why use both in the sentence?

  • "acquit and absolve mean almost the same thing" - 'almost' does not mean 'exactly'. Sep 8, 2019 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Acquitted is primarily a legal term (he was found not to have broken the relevant law under which he was charged).

Absolved is primarily a moral judgement (he was not found to be blameworthy, he didn't do anything "improper")

  • I don't know if it still exists, but there used to be a "Not Proven" judgement in Scottish law. Which was invariably the verdict given when wishing to imply There wasn't enough evidence to prove guilt on the specific charges, but the court has reason to suspect crimes were in fact committed by the accused. On the other hand, if the judge said I'm acquitting and absolving you of all charges, that would be taken as implying no blame whatsoever attaches to the defendant. I don't think it's exactly a "standard" legalese pairing though - not like aid and abet. Sep 8, 2019 at 16:55

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