|Noun||1.||corpus delicti - the body of evidence that constitute the offence; the objective proof that a crime has been committed (sometimes mistakenly thought to refer to the body of a homicide victim)|
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.