A person who is indicted for a criminal offense, but not yet convicted. It is not, however, a technical term of the law; and in its vernacular usage it seems to imply only a light degree of censure or moral reprobation. Blackstone believes it an abbreviation of the old forms of arraignment, whereby, on the prisoner’s pleading not guilty, the clerk would respond, “culpabilis. pr-it,” i. e., he is guilty and the crown is ready. It was (he says) the viva voce replication, by the clerk, on behalf of the crown, to the prisoner’s plea of non culpabilis; prit being a technical word, anciently in use in the formula of joining issue. 4 Bl. Comm. 339. But a more plausible explanation is that given by Donaldson, (cited Whart. Lex.,) as follows: The clerk asks the prisoner, “Are you guilty, or not guilty?” Prisoner “Not guilty.” Clerk, “Qu’il paroit, [may it prove so.] How will you be tried?” Prisoner, “By God and my country.” These words being hurried over, came to sound, “culprit, how will you be tried?” The ordinary derivation is from culpa.
What is CULPRIT?
Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary
Nothing implied or stated on this page should be construed to be legal, tax, or professional advice. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm and this page should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. For questions regarding your specific situation, please consult a qualified attorney.
- What Is A Police Welfare Check?
- Best Way to Find Someone in Jail for Free
- How to Transfer a Car Title When The Owner Is Deceased
- How To Find A Name & Address Using A License Plate Number
- Best Way to Write a Professional Letter to a Judge
- What Can You Do At 18 Legally?
- How To Find An Inmate’s Release Date
- Why Do Policemen Touch Your Tail Light When They Pull You Over?
- Signing a Letter on Someone Else’s Behalf
- How Do You Look up License Plate Numbers?