Editing Law and Writing on the Law: Crime of Affray

Revising a treatise article on a legal topic provides an opportunity to examine how the law changes over time and the differing concerns of various legal eras.

I am currently having the opportunity to revisit the crime of “affray.” The notion of affray as a crime against the public peace appears to be a vestige of a time when even an assault had to occur in a public place to constitute a criminal, as opposed to a purely civil, offense. Interesting, as always. See Wharton’s original treatises for some coverage of this development in early nineteenth century American common law.

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