mayhem (māˈhĕm, māˈəm) [key], in common law, the crime of willfully injuring a person so as to diminish his or her capacity for self-defense. Cutting off an arm or leg would thus be mayhem, while such a battery as cutting off an ear would not. Under modern statutes, however, mayhem (or maiming) is a form of aggravated battery that leads to mutilation (such as loss of an ear), disfigurement, or serious permanent injury; jurisdictions vary in requiring specific intent to cause the injury or, more broadly, wanton behavior leading to it.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on mayhem from Fact Monster:
- NBA Draft 1998 - NBA Draft Preview by Kevin Foley The word of the day in Vancouver on Wednesday will be trades. The ...
- The World's Most Notorious Despots - The World's Most Notorious Despots by Borgna Brunner The Me Millennium Infoplease's top ten ...
- Mouse Hunt - Starring Nathan Lane, Lee Evans, Maury Chaykin, Christopher Walken, Eric Christmas
- Mardi Gras - Mardi Gras celebrations are known as the feast before the fast. Millions of people every year crowd New Orleans to partake in the Mardi Gras parades and festivities. Find information on history, traditions, and events of Mardi Gras.
- Peck's Bad Boy - Biography of Peck's Bad Boy, Naughty hero of the "Peck's Bad Boy" stories