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The body of the offence; the essence of the crime.
It was a general rule not to convict unless the corpus delicti can be established, that is, until the dead body has been found. Instances have occurred of a person being convicted of having killed another, who, after the supposed criminal has been put to death for the supposed offence, has made his appearance
alive. The wisdom of the rule is apparent; but in order to insure justice, in extreme cases, it may be competent to prove the basis of the corpus delicti by presumptive, but conclusive, evidence.