How peculiar. Mr Michael Jackson, a singer, has been found not guilty.

The judge said, according to the report in the Telegraph: "Your bail is exonerated and you are released.".
How can bail be exonerated? Surely, to any literate person, it is obvious that a person can be exonerated bail, but bail isn't burdened by anything, being inanimate.
"You are released and exonerated bail.". This would have made it clear that it was Jackson who was being exonerated, which makes sense, not his bail, which doesn't.

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"You are released and exonerated bail.". This would have made it clear that it was Jackson who was being exonerated, which makes sense, not his bail, which doesn't.

Seems to be acceptable in LegAmE, or at least in CrimJAmE jargon.
"You are released and exonerated bail.". This would have made it clear that it was Jackson who was being exonerated, which makes sense, not his bail, which doesn't.

The word "exonerated" is used to mean "released" in US legal terminology. The judge's phrasing was quite correct.

Tony Cooper
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"You are released and exonerated bail.". This would have made it clear that it was Jackson who was being exonerated, which makes sense, not his bail, which doesn't.

Surely, you looked this up before making it up. It seems to be a frequent usage in AmE legal English:
California Bail Laws
Surety's motion to vacate forfeiture and exonerate bail was denied, and surety appealed. The Court of Appeal, Mihara, J., held that: (1) trial court lacked ...
http://tinyurl.com/8uawk (This has many other examples from cases.)

Beehive Bail Bonds, Inc. v. Fifth District Court, et al. , Case No ...
We remand to have the district court exonerate bail for Aguilar and Sinclair. Additionally, we set aside the premature execution on the bail posted for ...
courtlink.utcourts.gov/opinions/appopin/beehive.htm

recommended by LegalTips.org maritime & jones injury law attorney ... Section 15-13-63 Arrest of defendant by bail after conditional judgment. ... of defendant to sheriff required to exonerate bail; when new bail allowed. ...
www.legaltips.org/Alabama/alabama code/141808.aspx

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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"You are released and exonerated bail.". This would have made ... being exonerated, which makes sense, not his bail, which doesn't.

The word "exonerated" is used to mean "released" in US legal terminology. The judge's phrasing was quite correct.

Ah, so it is a Yank illiteracy.
What a peculiar one though. I wonder how the misunderstanding started.

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The word "exonerated" is used to mean "released" in US legal terminology. The judge's phrasing was quite correct.

Ah, so it is a Yank illiteracy. What a peculiar one though. I wonder how the misunderstanding started.

No, Peter, it is a Brit illiteracy, which you would be aware of had you read farther down in the OED. It's only 450 years old.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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I'm sorry you find it puzzling. It shouldn't be! Yes, ... not that 'bail is exonerated from the burden of itself'.

Here are definitions and example usages from the OED. By ommitting the 5th, you are being quite dishonest(1) about the ... you is both wrong and dishonest. Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.

I think the OP is going to argue that example 5 doesn't answer his objection, as he says "bail", itself being a burden, cannot be unburdened. A person, or a set of finances or some other burden-bearing object can be exonerated, but not a burden itself, unless that burden can also bear a burden. In effect, he's inviting you to show that exonerated can also mean "discharged" or "rescinded".

Fran
Ah, so it is a Yank illiteracy. What a peculiar one though. I wonder how the misunderstanding started.

No, Peter, it is a Brit illiteracy, which you would be aware of had you read farther down in the OED. It's only 450 years old.

Not at all. You misunderstand, for some reason, that all the references are to exonerating 'of' or 'from' a person, not a thing. That is the problem. It was exactly the same usage 450 years ago. Only the recent yank illiteracy of using it to say that a thing, bail, can be exonerated, is new.

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I think the OP is going to argue that example 5 doesn't answer his objection, as he says "bail", itself ... can also bear a burden. In effect, he's inviting you to show that exonerated can also mean "discharged" or "rescinded".

Quite - well put.

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