American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1

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Author: Noah Webster

Felony

FEL’ONY, n. [See Felon.] In common law, any crime which incurs the forfeiture of lands or goods. Treason was formerly comprised under the name of felony, but is now distinguished from crimes thus denominated, although it is really a felony. All offenses punishable with death are felonies; and so are some crimes not thus punished, as suicide, homicide by chance-medley, or in self-defense, and petty larceny. Capital punishment therefore does not necessarily enter into the true idea or definition of felony; the true criterion of felony being forfeiture of lands or goods. But the idea of felony has been so generally connected with that of capital punishment, that law and usage now confirm that connection. Thus if a statute makes any new offense a felony, it is understood to mean a crime punishable with death.

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Chicago: Noah Webster Jr., "Felony," American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1 in An American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1 (New York: S. Converse, 1828), Original Sources, accessed April 23, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D2IDLBXLJ69LE7P.

MLA: Webster, Noah, Jr. "Felony." American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1, in An American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1, New York, S. Converse, 1828, Original Sources. 23 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D2IDLBXLJ69LE7P.

Harvard: Webster, N, 'Felony' in American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1. cited in 1828, An American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1, S. Converse, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 23 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D2IDLBXLJ69LE7P.