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Embracery

EMBRACERY (from the O. Fr. embraseour, an embracer, i.e. one who excites or instigates, literally one who sets on fire, from embraser, to kindle a fire; "embrace," i.e. to hold or clasp in the arms, is from O. Fr. embracer, Lat. in and bracchia, arms), in law, the attempting to influence a juryman corruptly to give his verdict in favour of one side or the other in a trial, by promise, persuasions, entreaties, money, entertainments and the like. It is an offence both at common law and by statute, and punishable by fine and imprisonment. As a statutory offence it dates back to 1360. The offence is complete, whether any verdict has been given or not, and whether the verdict is in accordance with the weight of evidence or otherwise. The person making the attempt, and any juryman who consents, are equally punishable. The false verdict of a jury, whether occasioned by embracery or otherwise, was formerly considered criminal, and jurors were severely punished, being proceeded against by writ of attaint (q.v.). The Juries Act of 1825, in abolishing writs of attaint, made a special exemption as regards jurors guilty of embracery (§ 61). Prosecution for the offence has been so extremely rare that when a case occurred in 1891 (R. v. Baker, 113, Cent. Crim. Ct. Sess. Pap. 374) it was stated that no precedent could be found for the indictment. The defendant was fined £200, afterwards reduced to £100.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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