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GUILT, noun gilt.

1. Criminality; that state of a moral agent which results from his actual commission of a crime or offense, knowing it to be a crime, or violation of law. To constitute guilt there must be a moral agent enjoying freedom of will, and capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and a wilful or intentional violation of a known law, or rule of duty. The guilt of a person exists, as soon as the crime is committed; but to evince it to others, it must be proved by confession, or conviction in due course of law. guilt renders a person a debtor to the law, as it binds him to pay a penalty in money or suffering. guilt therefore implies both criminality and liableness to punishment. guilt may proceed either from a positive act or breach of law, or from voluntary neglect of known duty.

2. Criminality in a political or civil view; exposure to forfeiture or other penalty.

A ship incurs guilt by the violation of a blockade.

3. Crime; offense.

 

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