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In its larger sense, this word is used to signify every considerable misdemeanor, which has not a certain name given to it in the law; and it is said that a misprision is contained in every treason or felony whatever. In its narrower sense it is the concealment of a crime. Misprision of treason, is the concealment of treason, by being merely passive for if any assistance be given, to the traitor, it makes the party a principal, as there is no accessories in treason. It is the duty of every good citizen, knowing of a treason or felony having been committed; to inform a magistrate. Silently to observe the commission of a felony, without using any endeavors to apprehend the offender, is a misprision. Misprisions which are merely positive, are denominated contempts or high misdemeanors; as, for example, dissuading a witness from giving evidence.
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the U.S., conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the U.S. 18 USC Misprision of felony, is the like concealment of felony, without giving any degree of maintenance to the felon for if any aid be given him, the party becomes an accessory after the fact.