Definition of turn King's (or Queen's) evidence in US English:

turn King's (or Queen's) evidence


  • (of a criminal) give information in court against one's partners in order to receive a less severe punishment.

    ‘in exchange for not being prosecuted he agreed to turn Queen's evidence’
    • ‘One turned state's evidence, admitted his involvement and expressed remorse.’
    • ‘This book relies predominantly on the evidence of pentiti, mafiosi who have turned state's evidence, to piece together a history.’
    • ‘And his drug suppliers turned state's evidence basically, got immunity and turned him in to a multi-agency taskforce.’
    • ‘Jackson turned state's evidence against his cohorts.’
    • ‘He's thinking of turning state's evidence and wants me to try to get him immunity after the mess with the Bulls is cleared up.’
    • ‘He must say that I shall only leave him alone if he turns King's evidence and tells all he knows of the plot against the King.’
    • ‘Tye turned state's evidence, and has never been charged.’
    • ‘Two of his codefendants confessed to their parts in the robbery, and one codefendant turned state's evidence in return for a reduced sentence.’
    • ‘He is currently serving seven years after admitting his role and has told the court he would have received 28 years if he had not turned Queen's evidence.’
    • ‘Some read it as a cautionary tale for anyone contemplating turning state's evidence in antitrust trials.’