misprision (mis-prizh-<<schwa>>n).1. Concealment or nondisclosure of a serious crime by
one who did not participate in the crime. [Cases: Compounding Offenses 3.5; Criminal Law 77.
C.J.S. Compounding Offenses § 5; Criminal Law § 142.] clerical misprision.A court clerk’s mistake or fraud that is apparent from the record.
misprision of felony.Concealment or nondisclosure of someone else’s felony. See 18 USCA §
4. [Cases: Compounding Offenses 1.1. C.J.S. Compounding Offenses §§ 1–3, 9, 13.]
“In fact, whatever the law may be, it is not the general custom to prosecute for misprision of felony, even where a person who knows of a felony is questioned by the police and refuses to make a statement. Indeed, Stephen, writing in the nineteenth century, regarded the offence as ‘practically obsolete’; and American courts have refused to recognise it as subsisting. But there have been four successful prosecutions in England during the last quarter-century ….” Glanville Williams, Criminal Law 424 (2d ed. 1961).
misprision of treason.Concealment or nondisclosure of someone else’s treason.
negative misprision.The wrongful concealment of something that should be revealed
<misprision of treason>.
positive misprision.The active commission of a wrongful act <seditious conduct against the
government is positive misprision>.
2. Seditious conduct against the government. 3. An official’s failure to perform the duties of public office. [Cases: Officers and Public Employees 121. C.J.S. Officers and Public Employees §§ 329–334.] 4. Misunderstanding; mistake.“The word ‘misprision’ has been employed with different meanings. While Blackstone thought of it as referring to a grave misdemeanor, it seems to have been used earlier to indicate the entire field of crime below the grade of treason or felony before the word ‘misdemeanor’ became the generally accepted label for this purpose. More recently it has been said: ‘Misprision is nothing more than a word used to describe a misdemeanor which does not possess a specific name.’ [United States v. Perlstein, 126 F.2d 789, 798 (3d Cir. 1942).] It has been associated with two specific offenses, and only these, from the earliest times. They are misprision of treason and misprision of felony, which consist of the criminal default of one in regard to the crime of another.” Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 572 (3d ed. 1982).
[Blacks Law 8th]