arson

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Related to Wilful fire-raising: arson, besmirch, chickenfeed

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.
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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Yesterday Cook appeared from custody where pleaded guilty to a charge of wilful fire-raising to the danger of life.
Another drove over a golf course, causing criminal damage, and a third was convicted of wilful fire-raising. One cabbie had four assault convictions.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said yesterday: "Officers did investigate a wilful fire-raising in Hawthorn Street between October 9-10, 2006.
Detectives are awaiting the findings of the investigation but Strathclyde Police say they are treating it as a case of wilful fire-raising. One man, Michael Lyons, 21, was killed in the attack and Stephen Lyons, 26, and Robert Pickett, 41, are still in a serious condition in hospital.
He spoke of Watson's sadness at no longer being part of the Scottish Parliament, having stood down from his post on the day he pleaded guilty to one charge of wilful fire-raising.
The police are treating this is wilful fire-raising and so they should.
Christopher Harkins, 34; James O'Brien, 23; and Stephen Garrity, 24; were convicted of wilful fire-raising after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
He is now back behind bars after he pled guilty to assault, culpable and reckless conduct, as well as wilful fire-raising.
Hunter admitted wilful fire-raising and endangering the safety of Waddell and Melanie Steele.
Alloa Academy pupil Hoggan - charged with wilful fire-raising before a jury at the Sheriff Court - claims he had nothing to do with the group and denies filling glass bottles with petrol before lighting pieces of cloth stuffed inside them and tossing them at the building last August.
After admitting a charge, of wilful fire-raising, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday he immediately announced he would be standing down as an MSP.
Sentence for the assaults, which happened in May, had been deferred for detailed background reports to be prepared on Woods who has a lengthy criminal record including a conviction for wilful fire-raising.