In Duolingo this Japanese sentence is the approved translation for the English sentence:

He received a guilty verdict for murder.

Likewise for the following pair:

She was found guilty of murder.

However, the following is not accepted as a valid translation:


despite seemingly having the same structure as the first sentence. I can't see how the change of verb should warrant an additional 罪で. Am I missing a subtlety here, or is Duolingo just being annoying?

If both sentences are okay then is there any distinction in nuance?

What is the difference between 殺人 and 殺人罪? Can I omit で from that version, and if not, why not?

  • 1
    AFAIK, Duolingo doesn't always accept all possibilities of answers. You might also want to check the discussion on Duolingo for that specific question.
    – Andrew T.
    Sep 7, 2021 at 4:19

2 Answers 2


彼女は殺人の有罪判決が確定した seems fine. I think Duolingo is just being annoying there.

As for the additional で, it's not the verb that warrants it, but the noun. 有罪 doesn't itself refer to a verdict but a person's state of being guilty. If you want to specify what crime the person is guilty of, you should use で.


You shouldn't omit this で in a noun phase either, as 殺人(罪)有罪 would sound like it's the act of murder that is guilty.

殺人(罪)有罪判決 is acceptable because this の modifies 判決, not 有罪. You can also say 殺人(罪)での有罪判決.

This is not really about the difference between 殺人 and 殺人罪. It's just that the former refers to the act of murder while the latter is the legal term for the crime of committing it.


Before we begin, this may be technical, but "verdict" and 「判決」shouldn't be equated, because "verdict" and "judgment" are not interchangeable and shouldn't be confused, especially in Japanese contexts.

A verdict is the finding or decision made by a jury. Japan doesn't have a jury system 「陪審制」, and thus "verdict" doesn't apply in legal contexts about Japan. A verdict, I believe, is called 「評決{ひょうけつ}」 in Japanese.

Also, a verdict is made by a jury and presented to a judge/court, to assist in the process of the judge/court making their decision. A verdict doesn't always equal the final decision. A guilty verdict doesn't necessarily lead to a guilty judgment. In the U.S. legal framework at least, a judge can constitutionally overrule a guilty verdict made by a jury (but not a "not guilty" one).


sounds fine to me, and I was also able to find real-life instantiations similar in structure and collocation to support my hunch:




「有罪が確定」sounds like the process of finding/declaring someone guilty. 「有罪判決が確定」refers to the judgment of guilty being handed down or the conviction becoming a fact. The difference is nuanced.

「殺人」is the act of murder. 「殺人罪」is a crime defined by criminal law.


One important distinction to keep in mind is that, manslaughter, murder, and homicide are all considered 殺人, but these terms have very different denotations and legal implications in English.

A homicide requires only a volitional act that causes the death of another, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negligent acts even if there is no intent to cause harm. (Wikipedia)

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human without justification or valid excuse, especially the unlawful killing of another human with malice aforethought. (Wikipedia)

Manslaughter is unlawful killing without malice.

This doctrinal distinction is also discussed and practiced in Japan. An act of 殺人 doesn't equal, nor does it necessarily lead to, 殺人罪's determination, unless accompanied by malintent:



例えば,殺人罪で言えば,相手が死ぬということが分かっていて殺人行為をした者でなければ,殺人罪で処罰することはできません。 (source)

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