Amnesty Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Amnesty, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Amnesty?

n. malicious burning of property to destroy it or to harm some person; an offence of the degree of felony. Since the intent is malicious hence the deaths that might occur are considered murder. Also acts of intentionally burning down own property is considered arson if done with malacious intent, eg. to get fire-insurance money. Also some countries treat unintentional acts of burning as arson if the loss is huge and there is an element of carelessness on the person’s part eg. starting of a forest fire from some campfire or carelessly throwing away a burning matchstick in forest.

History and Meaning of Arson

Arson is a serious criminal offense that involves intentionally setting fire to a building, structure, or other property. The origins of the term "arson" come from the Latin word "ardere," meaning "to burn." Arson can be committed for many different reasons, including insurance fraud, revenge, and vandalism, and is considered a felony offense in most jurisdictions. The severity of the crime can depend on the intent of the arsonist, the degree of damage caused, and whether anyone was injured or killed as a result of the fire.

Examples of Arson

  1. John was upset with his landlord, so he set fire to the apartment building they both lived in, causing thousands of dollars in damages and putting the lives of many other tenants at risk.
  2. The police arrested three teenagers for starting a campfire in a dry, wooded area during a drought, causing a massive forest fire that destroyed many homes and businesses.
  3. Sarah's business was struggling, and she hoped to collect on her insurance policy by hiring someone to burn it down in the middle of the night. However, her plan was foiled when the police caught the arsonist in the act.

Legal Terms Similar to Arson

  1. Murder: If someone dies as a direct result of an arson fire, the arsonist could be charged with murder in addition to arson.
  2. Burglary: If the arsonist breaks into a building with the intent to commit arson, they could also be charged with burglary.
  3. Reckless endangerment: If the arsonist starts a fire without intending to harm anyone, but puts others in danger as a result, they could be charged with reckless endangerment.