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FELO DE SE
A felon of himself; a self-murderer.
To be guilty of this offence, the deceased must have had the will and intention of committing it, or else he committed no crime. As he is beyond the reach of human laws, he cannot be punished. English law used to inflict a punishment by a barbarous burial of his body, and by forfeiting to the king the property which he owned and which would belong to his relations. The charter of privileges granted by William Penn to the inhabitants of Pennsylvania contains the following clause: 'If any person, through temptation or melancholy, shall destroy himself, his estate, real and personal, shall notwithstanding, descend to his wife and children, or relations, as if he had died a natural death.'