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Legal Dictionary

reprieve

Legal Definition of reprieve

Related terms


Definition of reprieve

Etymology

    1571, in sense of “to take back to prison”, from Middle English repryen (“to remand, detain”) (1494), probably from Middle French repris, form of reprendre (“take back”); cognate to reprise. Sense generalized, but retains connotations of punishment and execution. Noun attested 1598.

Verb

reprieve (third-person singular simple present reprieves, present participle reprieving, simple past and past participle reprieved)

  1. (transitive) To cancel or postpone the punishment of someone, especially an execution.
  2. (transitive) To bring relief to someone.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To take back to prison (in lieu of execution).

Noun

reprieve (plural reprieves)

  1. The cancellation or postponement of a punishment.
  2. A document authorizing such an action.
  3. Relief from pain etc., especially temporary.

Further reading

In criminal proceedings, the act of postponing the enforcement of a sentence, particularly a death sentence, to allow an appeal.

A reprieve is the temporary postponement of punishment.

This term differs subtly from country-to-country, but generally:

Reprieve: Temporary postponement of a punishment, usually so that the accused can mount an appeal (especially if he or she has been sentenced to death)

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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