noun[mass noun] Law , historical
Acquittal from a charge or accusation obtained by statements of innocence given by witnesses under oath.
- Kichynman claimed he had already cleared himself of this charge through compurgation.
- The Anglo-Saxon preference for compurgation, as proof of guilt or innocence, persisted and only gradually gave way to trial by jury.
- In the absence of positive evidence of guilt, and sometimes despite of it, the accused was bound to clear himself by compurgation or by the ordeal.
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