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HUNGER. The desire for taking food. Hunger is no excuse for larceny. 1 Hale,
P. C. 54; 4 Bl. Com. 31. But it is a matter which applies itself strongly to
the consciences of the judges in mitigation of the punishment.
2. When a person has died, and it is suspected he has been starved to death, an examination of his body ought to be made, to ascertain whether or not he died of hunger. The signs which usually attend death from hunger are the following: The body is much emaciated, and a foetid, acrid odor exhales from it, although death may have been very recent. The eyes are red and open, which is not usual in other causes of death. The tongue and throat are dry, even to aridity, and the stomach and intestines are contracted and empty. The gall bladder is pressed with bile, and this fluid is found scattered over the stomach and intestines, so as to tinge them very extensively. The lungs are withered, but all the other organs are generally in a healthy state. The blood vessels are usually empty. Foder‚, tom. ii. p. 276, tom. iii. p. 231; 2 Beck's Med. Jur. 52; see Eunom. Dial. 2, Sec. 47, p. 142, and the note at p. 384.