20191229

GUILT, GUILTY

    29.12.19  

GUILT, crim. law. That quality which renders criminal and liable to punishment; or it is that disposition to violate the law, which has manifested itself by some act already done. The opposite of innocence. Vide Rutherf. Inst. B. 1, c. 18, s. 10.
2. In general everyone is presumed innocent until guilt has been proved; but in some cases the presumption of guilt overthrows that of innocence; as, for example, where a party destroys evidence to which the opposite party is entitled. The spoliation of papers, material to show the neutral character of a vessel, furnishes strong presumption against the neutrality of the ship. 2 Wheat. 227. Vide Spoliation.
GUILTY. The state or condition of a person who has committed a crime, misdemeanor or offence.
2. This word implies a malicious intent, and must be applied to something universally allowed to be a crime. Cowp. 275.
3. In pleading, it is a plea by which a defendant who is charged with a crime, misdemeanor or tort, admits or confesses it. In criminal proceedings, when the accused is arraigned, the clerk asks him,: How say you, A B, are you guilty or not guilty?" His answer, which is given ore tenus, is called his plea; and when he admits the charge in the indictment he answers or pleads guilty.

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