compurgation(redirected from compurgatory)
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An ancient form of trial in which an accused person could call a number of people, usually 12, to swear to their belief in his or her innocence.
(Law) law (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence
[C17: from Medieval Latin compurgātiō, from Latin compurgāre to purify entirely, from com- (intensive) + purgāre to purge]
comˈpurgatory, comˌpurgaˈtorial adj
formerly, in common law, acquittal on the basis of endorsement by the friends or neighbors of the accused. Also called trial by wager of law. — compurgator, n. — compurgatory, adj.See also: Law