Some criminals think that if they can get rid of a body that they can’t be charged with murder. They misinterpret the Latin word
“corpus” as a literal dead body (a corpse) rather than a figurative one. That is an erroneous belief!!! I think the only reason I know what it means is ‘cause I took Latin in high school.
Yes, ‘corpus’ means body in Latin. But the word delecti (Latin: delicti) means the crime &/or evidence. In other words, there has to actually be a crime before you can accuse someone of committing the crime and a prosecutor has to provide a ‘body of evidence’ in order to make a charge against that person and take the person to criminal Court.
Corpus Delicti is one of the most important concepts in a murder investigation. When a person disappears and
cannot be contacted, many police agencies usually start a missing person case. If, during the course of the investigation, detectives believe that he/she has been murdered, then a “body” of evidentiary items, including, but not limited to, physical and empirical evidence, must be obtained to establish that the missing individual has indeed been murdered before a suspect can be charged with homicide. The best and easiest evidence establishment in these cases is the physical body of the deceased. However, in the event that a physical body is not obviously present or has not yet been discovered, it is possible to prove a crime took place if sufficient circumstantial evidence is presented to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt…
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