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 ?
There are urgent reasons for learning all we can about fire-raising in view of the indiscriminate threat its commission poses to life and property in a civilized society.
The initiative aims to reduce acts of wilful fire-raising
"When they saw the accused, they arrested him on suspicion of wilful fire-raising. The lighter and bag were removed from him at that time."
"Knife crime has dropped 57 per cent, wilful fire-raising is down about 80 per cent and violent crime dropping almost 40 per cent.
And Dr Stephen claims the pair are likely to have begun the fire-raising spree close to home.
In addition to vandalism, locals have also raised concerns about fire-raising at the Newhills site.
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.
A HOUSE seized from the Daniel crime clan by the Crown Office has been hit by a suspected fire-raising attack.
Hunter admitted wilful fire-raising and endangering the safety of Waddell and Melanie Steele.
He served 15 months for fire-raising two years ago so the Home Office has cited him a foreign national with a criminal record.
AN Inverness thug who murdered a disabled man in a "vicious and hateful" fire-raising crime has been sent to prison for 19 years.
Sentence for the assaults, which took place 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.