AP Style Accused

The AP Stylebook has specific rules and guidelines when handling persons accused of crimes and people on trial. Follow the below guidelines when using the term “accused.”

A person is accused “of,” not “with,” a crime. For example,

  • Wrong: Jim Jones is being accused with the murder of the woman.
  • Correct: Jim Jones is being accused of the murder of the woman.

Also, to avoid suggesting that an individual is being judged before a trial takes place, do not use phrases such as “accused slayer Jim Jones.” For example,

  • Wrong: Accused tax-evader Jim Jones looked nervous in the courtroom.
  • Correct: Jim Jones, accused of tax evasion, looked nervous in the courtroom.
  • Correct: Jim Jones, who is being accused of tax evasion, looked nervous in the courtroom.

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