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POLYGAMY Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In criminal law. The offense of having several wives or husbands at the same time, or more than one wife or husband at the same time. 3 Inst. 88. And see Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 25 L. Ed. 244. The offense committed by a layman In marrying while any previous wife Is living and undivorced; as distinguished from bigamy in the sense of a breach of ecclesiastical law involved In any second marriage by a clerk. Polygamy, or bigamy, shall consist in knowingly having a plurality of husbands or POLYGAMY 912 POOL wives at the same time. Code Ga. 1882, 5 4530. A bigamist or polygamist, in the sense of the eighth section of the act of congress of March 22, 1882, is a man who, having contracted a bigamous or polygamous marriage, and become the husband at one time, of two or more wives, maintains that reiation and status at the time when he offers to be registered as a voter; and this without reference to the question whether he was at any time guilty of the offense of bigamy or polygamy, or whether any prosecution for’such offense was barred by the lapse of time; neither is it necessary that he should be guilty of polygamy under the first section of the act of March 22, 1SS2. Murphy v. Itamsey, 114 U. S. 16, 5 Sup. Ct. 747, 29 L. Ed. 47; Cannon v. U. S., 116 U. S. 55, 6 Sup. Ct. 278, 29 L. Ed. 561. Bigamy literally means a second marriage distinguished from a third or other; while polygamy means many marriages,


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