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n. an excuse used by a person accused or suspected of crime. In the original Latin it means "in another place" which has to be the ultimate alibi.
alibinoun corroborative excuse, declaration, defense, defensive evidence, defensive plea, exculpatory excuse, explanation, justifiable excuse, justification, justificaaory excuse, plausible excuse, plea in being elsewhere, proof of absence, verifiable excuse, verificative excuse
Associated concepts: affirmative defense, notice of intention to introduce alibi defense, traverse of indictment
See also: compurgation, excuse, pretext
alibi‘elsewhere’, the defence in a criminal trial in the UK (and, indeed, the USA) that the accused was somewhere else at the time the alleged crime was committed. In both England and Scotland, the defence must give the prosecution notice of such a defence.
ALIBI, in evidence. This is a Latin word which signifies, elsewhere.
2. When a person, charged with a crime, proves (se eadem die fuisse alibi,) that he was, at the time alleged, in a different place from that in which it was committed, he is said to prove an alibi, the effect of which is to lay a foundation for the necessary inference, that he could not have committed it. See Bract. fo. 140, lib. 3, cap. 20, De Corona.
3. This proof is usually made out by the testimony of witnesses, but it is presumed it might be made out by writings; as if the party could prove by a record properly authenticated, that on the day or at the time in question, he was in another place.
4. It must be admitted that mere alibi evidence lies under a great and general prejudice, and ought to be heard with uncommon caution; but if it appear, to be founded in truth, it is the best negative evidence that can be offered; it is really positive evidence, which in the nature of things necessarily implies a negative; and in many cases it is the only evidence which an innocent man can offer.