[accessory] after the fact to the murder of Mr...

Cofla

Senior Member
Chilean Spanish
Hi everyone!!

I am readind the newspaper and I came across with the next statement:

"A man was also arrested today and charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Mr Jones,.."

I don't understand the part "after the fact to the murder of Mr Jones"

Can anyone please explain it to me???

Thanks
 
  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi :)

    I read it like this: He was charged with being an accessory to the murder.
    There's a difference between being an accessory before and after the fact (the murder, in our case).

    Try this explanation, from Wiki:
    In the United States, a person who learns of the crime and gives some form of assistance before the crime is committed is known as an "accessory before the fact". A person who learns of the crime after it is committed and helps the criminal to conceal it, or aids the criminal in escaping, or simply fails to report the crime, is known as an "accessory after the fact". A person who does both is sometimes referred to as an "accessory before and after the fact", but this usage is less common.
     

    Aidanr444

    Senior Member
    English - UK (Scotland)
    Hi there.



    There's a standard legal phrase, "accessory after the fact" which means though he didn't do the crime, he helped the criminal to avoid the legal outcome (for example, getting caught or punished).

    So the man must have been helping Mr Jones' murderer to evade justice.
     
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