arson

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arson,

at common lawcommon law,
system of law that prevails in England and in countries colonized by England. The name is derived from the medieval theory that the law administered by the king's courts represented the common custom of the realm, as opposed to the custom of local jurisdiction that
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, the malicious and willful burning of the house of another. Originally, it was an offense against the security of habitation rather than against property rights. Thus, a tenant could not be convicted of arson for burning the house that he rented from his landlord. Although this rule still holds in some states of the United States, in many others statutes have changed the meaning of the offense. Its application has been extended to buildings, structures, and vehicles that are not dwelling places, and greater stress has been placed on protection of property rights. Some statutes distinguish several degrees of arson, e.g., arson committed at night is considered more serious than arson committed in the daytime. In most states setting fire to one's own property to defraud an insurance company is specified as arson.

arson

Criminal law the act of intentionally or recklessly setting fire to another's property or to one's own property for some improper reason
References in periodicals archive ?
The arsonist threw something at a front window of the home, which caused fire damage to the outside of the property.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is an arsonist.
He calls the serial arsonist an artist and goes about planning and implementing the arson plan like an artist.
A DAD battled to extinguish his blazing car yesterday as arsonists hit two vehicles within 10 minutes.
The Irish Independent (July 8) reported that the arsonist was given an 18-month jail sentence.
Police are now hunting the arsonist, and revealed they are also investigating a blaze started d e l i b e r at e ly at n e a r by Kirkheaton Cricket Club.
Club chairman Alan Westwater said: "We were determined not to let the arsonist win.
Deputy Chief Chris Logan of the Los Angeles Fire Department said the arsonist or arsonists were especially gutsy and brazen because while firefighters were battling two fires, three more were set.
The jurisdiction would be responsible for ensuring the national registry has appropriate records of a local arsonist's name, social security number, local addresses, palm and finger prints, photograph and physical description, license plate number and a copy of any identification card issued by the jurisdiction to the arsonist (such as a driver's license).
Arnold Schwarzenegger today spoke of the arsonists who set killer brushfire blazes in California: "We will hunt down the people that are responsible for that.
Our investigators were in a race against time to track down this arsonist and put an end to his crime spree before someone was hurt or killed," said ATF Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Vanessa L.
The poor performance of surveillance equipment came to light in a very public way in December 2004, when an arsonist began a series of sometimes deadly attacks against the discount store chain Don Quixote.