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The explanation for the performance or nonperformance of a particular act; a reason alleged in court as a basis for exemption or relief from guilt.

An excuse is essentially a defense for an individual's conduct that is intended to mitigate the individual's blameworthiness for a particular act or to explain why the individual acted in a specific manner. A driver sued for Negligence, for example, might raise the defense of excuse if the driver was rushing an injured person to a hospital, or if some unforeseen illness or mechanical failure made safe operation of the vehicle impossible.

EXCUSE. A reason alleged for the doing or not doing a thing. This word presents two ideas differing essentially from each other. In one case an excuse may be made in, order to own that the party accused is not guilty; in another, by showing that though guilty, he is less so, than he appears to be. Take, for example, the case of a sheriff who has an execution against an individual, and who in performance of his duty, arrests him; in an action by the defendant against the sheriff, the latter may prove the facts, and this shall be a sufficient excuse for him: this is an excuse of the first kind, or a complete justification; the sheriff was guilty of no offence. But suppose, secondly, that the sheriff has an execution against Paul, and by mistake, and without any malicious design, be arrests Peter instead of Paul; the fact of his having the execution against Paul and the mistake being made, will not justify the sheriff, but it will extenuate and excuse his conduct, and this will be an excuse of the second kind.
     3. Persons are sometimes excused for the commission of acts, which ordinarily are crimes, either because they had no intention of doing wrong, or because they had no power of judging, and therefore had no criminal will (q.v.); or having power, of judging they had no choice, and were compelled by necessity. Among the first class may be placed infants under the age of discretion, lunatics, and married women committing an offence in the presence of their husbands, not malum in se, as treason or murder; 1 Hale's P. C. 44, 45 or in offences relating to the domestic concern or management of the house, as the keeping of a bawdy house. Hawk. b. 1, c. 1, s. 12. Among acts of the second kind may be classed, the beating or killing another in self-defence; the destruction of property in order to prevent a more serious calamity, as the tearing down of a house on fire, to prevent its spreading to the neighboring property, and the like. See Dalloz, Dict. h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
A jury officer at the Bureau will decide whether that person can be excused, based on the details given, and although you get some recompense for loss of earnings there is a limit on this.
However, IDEA 2004 federal regulations made it clear which members of the IEP Team can be excused from attending.
Q: When must an agency grant the five days of excused absence?
Upon such an occurrence, the parties are excused from performance under the contract.
(4) So, for example, "however persistent the 'provocation' one should never be excused for violently expressing one's temper by harming a crying baby," but one might succeed in interposing a non-responsibility claim of insanity under very similar circumstances.
You may be excused from service or have it deferred.
Instead, I argue, the distinction between justification and excuse for purposes of taxonomizing criminal law defenses is only this: A justified action is not criminal, whereas an excused defendant has committed a crime but is not punishable.
* Supervisors/managers can grant excused absence without loss of
One doesn't have to be a Rhodes scholar to make a comic comparison between millionaire pro athletes "hot dogging" their fundamental elegance on the gridiron or basketball court, and that of a small bevy of American executives picked to revitalize or build businesses but who pillage them on the gridiron of greed - while being lucratively excused for their inefficiency and improvidence.
Justin says: Unless someone is disgualified, has the right to be excused or has a valid reason for discretionary excusal, then they must attend for jury service.
The fourth and last reason that insanity will not do is that, in some cases, advocates claim that the syndrome suffering defendants' conduct should be justified, rather than excused, and the insanity defense is clearly an excuse.
When is a contractor legally excused from performing its contract with an owner?