CRIME. A crime is an offence against a public law. This word, in its most
general signification, comprehends all offences but, in its limited sense,
it is confined to felony. 1 Chitty, Gen. Pr. 14.
2. The term misdemeanor includes every offence inferior to felony, but
punishable by indictment or by particular prescribed proceedings.
3. The term offence, also, may be considered as, having the same
meaning, but is usually, by itself, understood to be a crime not indictable
but punishable, summarily, or by the forfeiture of, a penalty. Burn's Just.
4. Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by the common law.
Most common law offences are as well known, and as precisely ascertained, as
those which are defined by statutes; yet, from the difficulty of exactly
defining and describing every act which ought to be punished, the vital and
preserving principle has been adopted, that all immoral acts which tend to
the prejudice of the community are punishable by courts of justice. 2
5. Crimes are mala in se, or bad in themselves; and these include. all
offences against the moral law; or they are mala prohibita, bad because
prohibited, as being against sound policy; which, unless prohibited, would
be innocent or indifferent. Crimes may be classed into such as affect:
6.-1. Religion and public worship: viz. blasphemy, disturbing public
7.-2. The sovereign power: treason, misprision of treason.
8.-3. The current coin: as counterfeiting or impairing it.
9.-4. Public justice: 1. Bribery of judges or jurors, or receiving
the bribe. 2. Perjury. 3. Prison breaking. 4. Rescue. 5. Barratry. 6.
Maintenance. 7. Champerty. 8. Compounding felonies. 9. Misprision of
felonies. 10. Oppression. 11. Extortion. 12. Suppressing evidence. 13.
Negligence or misconduct in inferior officers. 14. Obstructing legal
process. 15. Embracery.
10.-5. Public peace. 1. Challenges to fight a duel. 2. Riots, routs
and unlawful assemblies. 3. Affrays. 4. Libels.
11.-6. Public trade. 1. Cheats. 2. Forestalling. S. Regrating. 4.
Engrossing. 5. Monopolies.
12.-7. Chastity. 1. Sodomy. 2. Adultery. 3. Incest. 4. Bigamy. 5.
13.-8. Decency and morality. 1. Public indecency. 2. Drunkenness. 3.
Violating the grave.
14.-9. Public police and economy. 1. Common nuisances. 2. Keeping
disorderly houses and bawdy houses. 3. Idleness, vagrancy, and beggary.
15.-10. Public. policy. 1. Gambling. 2. Illegal lotteries.
16.-11. Individuals. 1. Homicide, which is justifiable, excusable or
felonious. 2. Mayhem. 3. Rape. 4. Poisoning, with intent to murder. 5.
Administering drugs to a woman quick with child to cause, miscarriage. 6.
Concealing death of bastard child. 7. Assault and battery, which is either
simple or with intent to commit some other crime. 8. kidnapping. 9. False
imprisonment. 10. Abduction.
17.-12. Private property. 1. Burglary. 2. Arson. 3. Robbery. 4.,
Forgery. Counterfeiting. 6. Larceny. 7. Receiving stolen goods, knowing them
to have been stolen, or theft-bote. 8. Malicious mischief.
18.-13. The public, individuals, or their property, according to the
intent of the criminal. 1. Conspiracy.
, crime against humanity
, criminal tendency
, deadly sin
, evil courses
, guilty act
, heavy sin
, inexpiable sin
, minor wrong
, misprision of treason
, mortal sin
, positive misprision
, sin of commission
, sin of omission
, sinful act
, thou scarlet sin
, unutterable sin
, venial sin
, wrong conduct