(redirected from Misprision of felony)
Also found in: Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to Misprision of felony: Failure to Report a Crime

mis·pri·sion 1

1. Neglect in performing the duties of public office.
2. Law The criminal offense of concealing, or neglecting to report or prevent, a felony or act of treason one had knowledge of but did not participate in: misprision of a felony; misprision of treason.
3. Seditious conduct.
a. Misunderstanding or misinterpretation: "to show that everything once viewed as truth and light is no more than shadow and misprision" (Edward Rothstein).
b. A misreading or misinterpretation of a text, especially as a means of distinguishing oneself from a literary predecessor.

[Middle English, illegal act on the part of a public official, from Anglo-Norman, mistake, misdeed, variant of Old French mesprison, from mespris, past participle of mesprendre, to make a mistake : mes-, wrongly; see mis-1 + prendre, to take, seize (from Latin prehendere, prēndere; see ghend- in Indo-European roots).]

mis·pri·sion 2

Contempt; disdain.

[mispris(e) (variant of misprize) + -ion.]


a. a failure to inform the proper authorities of the commission of an act of treason
b. the deliberate concealment of the commission of a felony
[C15: via Anglo-French from Old French mesprision error, from mesprendre to mistake, from mes- mis-1 + prendre to take]


1. (Law) contempt
2. failure to appreciate the value of something
[C16: from misprize]


(mɪsˈprɪʒ ən)

1. a neglect or violation of official duty by one in office.
2. failure by one not an accessory to prevent or notify the authorities of treason or felony.
3. a contempt against the government or courts, as sedition or contempt of court.
4. a mistake; misunderstanding.
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French mesprision=mes- mis-1 + prision < Latin pr(eh)ēnsiōnem; see prehension]


(mɪsˈprɪʒ ən)

contempt or scorn.
[1580–90; misprize + -ion, on the model of misprision1]


improper conduct or neglectful behavior, especially by a person who holds public office.
See also: Crime
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Ciociola, Misprision of Felony and Its Progeny, 41 BRANDEIS L.
See infra note 32 (citing cases interpreting statute to require affirmative act); see also Curenton, supra note 20, at 185-86 (discussing current interpretation of federal misprision statute); Comment, Common-Law Offense of Misprision of Felony Held Not Part of Modern Criminal Law, 54 HARV.
1) Margalit Har-Shefi was convicted of misprision of felony (2) for not informing the police of what she knew concerning Amir's intention to assassinate the Prime Minister.
The offense of misprision of felony, as defined in Israeli law, is exceptional in being an offense of omission that imposes a duty to inform the police of another's intention to commit a felony or a duty to take other reasonable steps to prevent that felony.
In this light, how can one explain and justify the existence of offenses like misprision of felony that impose a duty to inform, or to take other reasonable measures, upon any person who knows of a plan to commit a felony, even when that person is in no other way connected to the situation?
Although the duty originally applied only to a person present at the time of the commission of a felony, (15) the crime of misprision of felony was characterized as applying to anyone who knew of the commission of a felony.
Since the seventeenth century, the number of reported cases in which charges were filed for misprision of felony was so small that some writers concluded that the offense had become practically obsolete.
This silence is of interest because in many jurisdictions psychotherapists at least in theory might be prosecuted for common law misprision of felony or violation of a reporting statute.
The common law crime of misprision of felony consists of failing to report a felony.
Misprision of felony is prohibited by a federal statute providing:
7) Thus the federal crime of statutory misprision of a felony has come more closely to resemble the crime of being an accessory after the fact than common law misprision of felony.
Baird's wife, Patsy, a USDA-licensed Class "A" dealer (animal breeder) and owner of breeding facility Pat's Pine Tree Farm, pleaded guilty to misprision of felony mail fraud.