Grave

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GRAVE. A place where a dead body is interred.
     2. The violation of the grave, by taking up the dead body, or stealing the coffin or grave clothes, is a misdemeanor at common law. 1 Russ. on. Cr. 414. A singular case, illustrative of this subject, occurred in Louisiana. A son, who inherited a large estate from his mother, buried her with all her jewels, worth $2000; he then made a sale of all he inherited from his mother, for $30,000. After this, a thief broke the grave and stole the jewels, which, after his conviction, were left with the clerk of the court, to be delivered to the owner. The son claimed them, and so did the purchaser of the inheritance; it was held that the jewels, although buried with the mother, belonged to the son, and, that they passed to the purchaser by a sale of the whole inheritance. 6 Robins. L. R. 488. See Dead Body.
     3. In New York, by statutory enactment, it is provided, that every person who shall open a grave, or other place of interment, with intent, 1. To remove the dead body of any human being, for the purpose of selling the same, or for the purpose of dissection; or, 2. To steal the coffin, or any part thereof, or the vestments or other articles interred with any dead body, shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment, in a state prison, not exceeding two years, or in a county gaol, not exceeding six months, or by fine not, exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Rev. Stat. part 4, tit. 5, art. 3, Sec. 15.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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