Corpus delicti or Body of crime

Lohitashwa Pratap Singh

Corpus delicti translated to “body of crime” is a term that refers to the principle that a crime must have been proven to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime. Black’s Law dictionary defines “corpus delicti” as the “fact of a crime having been actually committed”.

The above mentioned maxim is one of the most important concepts in murder investigation. When a person goes missing the police file a missing report and initiates the search proceedings and during that course if the investigators feel that the person was murdered the investigation is done on the evidentiary items including physical, demonstrative and testimonial evidences. In this case the physical evidence is the most important but if due to any reason the physical evidence is not present it is possible to prove that the crime took place if the situational and circumstantial evidences are well detailed.

Many jurisdictions hold as a legal rule that the defendant’s out of court statement is sufficient to prove if the convict is guilty or not beyond reasonable doubts.

In the end just to say there must be palpable harm or injury to rights of other with mens rea (guilty mind) or in alternative an element of negligence so severe as to be called criminal.

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