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EXECUTION (from Lat. ex-sequor, exsec...

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Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 62 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EXECUTION (from Lat. ex-sequor, exsecutus, follow or carry out), the carrying into effect of anything, whether a rite, a piece of music, an office, &c.; and so sometimes involving a notion of skill in the performance. Technically, the word is used in law in the execution of a deed (its formal signing and sealing), an execution (see below) by the sheriff's officers under a " writ of execution " (the enforcement of a judgment on a debtor's goods); and execution of death has been shortened to the one word to denote CAPITAL PUNISHMENT (q.v.). Civil Execution may be defined as the process by which the judgments or orders of courts of law are made effectual. In Roman law the earliest mode of execution was the seizure, legalized by the actio per manus injectionem, of the debtor as a slave of the creditor. During the later Republic, imprisonment took the place of slavery. Under the regime of the actio per manus injectionem, the debtor might dispute the debt—the issue being raised by his finding a substitute (vindex) to conduct the case for him. By the time of Gains (iv. 25) the actio per manus injectionem had been superseded by the actio judicati, the object of which was to enable the creditor to take payment of the debt or compel the debtor to find security (pignus in causa judicati captum: Cautio judicatum solvi), and in A.D. 320 Constantine abolished imprisonment for debt, unless the debtor were contumacious. The time allowed for payment of a judgment debt was by the XII. Tables 30 days; it was afterwards extended to two months, and ultimately, by Justinian, to four months. The next stage in the Roman law of execution was the recognition of bankruptcy either against the will of the bankrupt (missio in bona) or on the application of the bankrupt (cessio bonorum; and see BANKRUPTCY). Lastly, in the time of Antoninus Pius, judgment debts were directly enforced by the seizure and sale of the debtor's property. Slaves, oxen and implements of husbandry were privileged; and movable property was to be exhausted before recourse was had to land (see Hunter, Roman Law, 4th ed. pp. 1029 et seq., Sohm, Inst. Rom. Law, 2nd ed. pp. 302-305).
End of Article: EXECUTION (from Lat. ex-sequor, exsecutus, follow or carry out)
EXCRETION (Lat. ex, out of, cernere, cretum, to sep...

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