rule of lenity

Definition of "rule of lenity"
  1. A principle used in the interpretation of criminal laws where if there is ambiguity, the benefit of the doubt is given to the defendant, provided it does not contradict the intent of the legislature
How to use "rule of lenity" in a sentence
  1. The defense attorney argued that the rule of lenity should apply, offering the defendant the benefit of the doubt in interpreting the ambiguous criminal statute.
  2. Given the unclear language in the law, the court applied the rule of lenity to ensure a fair judgment on the defendant's case.
  3. The rule of lenity played a key role in the outcome of the case due to the ambiguous wording of the related criminal law.

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