corpus delicti


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Corpus Delicti

[Latin, The body of the crime.] The foundation or material substance of a crime.

The phrase corpus delicti might be used to mean the physical object upon which the crime was committed, such as a dead body or the charred remains of a house, or it might signify the act itself, that is, the murder or Arson.

The corpus delicti is also used to describe the evidence that proves that a crime has been committed.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

corpus delicti

n. (corpus dee-lick-tie) Latin for the substantial fact that a crime has been committed, and in popular crime jargon, the body of the murder victim.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

corpus delicti

‘the body of an offence’, the essential facts that constitute the crime. Thus, it is not the corpse in a murder trial although a dead body is one of the facts that constitute the corpus delicti.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CORPUS DELICTI. The body of the offence; the essence of the crime
     2. It is a general rule not to convict unless the corpus delicti can be established, that is, until the dead body has been found. Best on Pres. Sec. 201; 1 Stark. Ev. 575, See 6 C. & P. 176; 2 Hale, P. C. 290. Instances have occurred of a person being convicted of having killed another, who, after the supposed criminal has been put to death for the supposed offence, has made his appearance alive. The wisdom of the rule is apparent; but it has been questioned whether, in extreme cases, it may not be competent to prove the basis of the corpus delicti by presumptive evidence. 3 Benth. Jud. Ev. 234; Wills on Circum. Ev. 105; Best on Pres. Sec. 204. See Death.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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constituent parts of the corpus delicti." (10) At the outset, it is
Corpus delicti is one of those not-so-glamorous topics that tends to fall through the academic cracks in many law schools.
Dew-burdened, Spider webs spin like little galaxies in the juniper bush, Morning sunlight corpus delicti sprawled on the damp pavement.
Traces associated with condoms can help prove corpus delicti, the fact that a crime has occurred.
In the beginning comes the corpus delicti, i.e., a stridently anti-Semitic incident, piece of oratory or writing; then a wave of anti-Semitic commentaries; and finally, furious protests launched by Polish Jews (excluding those who, in time-honored fashion, prefer to let sleeping dogs lie), by Israel and by some in the West.
But no corpus delicti, no remains, are left in an expunged data base.
"The SC further held that the chain of custody of the confiscated drug, not being unbroken, raised grave doubts about the integrity of the drug as evidence of the corpus delicti (i.e., the fact of a crime having been actually committed.)
" The court stressed that in sustaining a conviction for violation of RA 9165, "the illegal drug itself constitutes the corpus delicti [body of the crime] of the offense." "Its existence must be proved beyond reasonable doubt," the ruling, penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, read.
'It is thus, evident that the identity of the corpus delicti has been properly preserved and established by the prosecution.
Seligman (the State) is asked to judge while we as audience play jury, examining the corpus delicti in elaborate reenactments of jouissance.