rule of lenity

rule of len·​i·​ty | \ -ˈle-nə-tē \

Legal Definition of rule of lenity

: a rule requiring that those ambiguities in a criminal statute relating to prohibitions and penalties be resolved in favor of the defendant when to do so would not be contrary to legislative intent

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Dictionary Entries Near rule of lenity

rule of law

rule of lenity

rule of necessity

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Cite this Entry

“Rule of lenity.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/rule%20of%20lenity. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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