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Related to Greymail: graymail


A defensive tactic in an espionage trial whereby the accused threatens to reveal secret information unless the charges are dropped.

gray′mail′ v.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Law) law US a tactic to avoid prosecution in an espionage case by threatening to expose state secrets during trial
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


a means of preventing prosecution, as for espionage, by threatening to disclose government secrets during trial.
[1975–80; gray1 (in sense “indeterminate”) + (black)mail]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(62) The court suggested that unlike Wardius, where no countervailing state interest existed, in CIPA cases "'the State's inherent information-gathering advantages' are matched by the defendant's opportunities for engaging in 'greymail' to derail legitimate prosecutions." (63)
We elderly must cherish the only influence we have on the government of our country; perhaps we should refer to it as Greymail.
Simon argues only that lawyers should allow substantive justice to inform their discretionary decisions whether to delay litigation in hopes of exhausting state witnesses, present client perjury, impeach state testimony they know to be true, argue factual inferences they know to be false, or use "greymail" tactics of threatening to disclose information unrelated to the merits of the case but injurious or embarrassing to the state or its witnesses.(7) Neither addresses the sort of discretionary decisionmaking that Stuntz's description implies is a significant choice for defense attorneys and that my participatory observation of state court practice confirms.